What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), May 26, 2017
What Caught Our Eye is our week-in-review blog series, where we recap the cancer policy articles, studies, and stories that caught our attention.

In the Spotlight

“Millions Of Ill People May Face ‘Extremely High Premiums’ Under House Bill, CBO Says”

Via Kaiser Health News — The Republican overhaul of the federal health law passed by the House this month would result in slightly lower premiums and slightly fewer uninsured Americans than an earlier proposal. But it would leave as many as one-sixth of Americans living in states where older and sicker people might have to pay much more for their health care or be unable to purchase insurance at all, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
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Affordable Care Act

“Republican health care bill fails the Jimmy Kimmel test. Again.”

Via USA TodayGiven our divisions, it’s often hard to imagine reaching a consensus in this country on anything. Yet polls show Americans are increasingly aligning behind the Kimmel test, in favor of universal and affordable coverage ensured by the government.
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“Three Strategies to Defend GOP Health Bill: Euphemisms, False Statements and Deleted Comments”

Via ProPublicaAs Republican members of Congress seek to roll back the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and replace it with the American Health Care Act, they have adopted various strategies to influence and cope with public opinion, which polls show mostly opposes their plan. ProPublica, with our partners at Kaiser Health News, Stat and Vox, has been fact-checking members of Congress in this debate and we’ve found misstatements on both sides, though more by Republicans than Democrats. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has similarly found misstatements by both sides.
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“Blue Cross Plan Puts 23% Obamacare Rate Hike On GOP Congress”

Via Forbes.com“The biggest single reason for the sharp increase in rates is the lack of federal funding for cost-sharing reductions beginning in 2018,” North Carolina Blue Cross director of actuarial and pricing services Brian Tajlili wrote on the insurer’s web site Thursday.
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Cancer Policy

“Trump’s proposed budget would cripple the NIH and FDA”

Via Stat News — Ellen Sigal, founder of Friends of Cancer Research, writes:

“At best, the proposed budget suggests that the White House doesn’t understand how the NIH and the FDA function. At worst, it suggests a disregard for the millions of patients who are desperate for the scientific innovations, lifesaving therapies, and safeguards that emerge from these agencies.”
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“FDA Chief Proposes Rules Changes to Fight High Drug Prices”

Via Wall Street Journal“Simply put, too many patients are priced out of the medicines they need,” [FDA Commissioner] Dr. [Scott] Gottlieb told a congressional subcommittee Thursday. “While the FDA does not have a direct role in drug pricing, we can take steps to facilitate entry of lower-cost alternatives to the market, and increase competition.”
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“In Bold Move, FDA Approves Cancer Drug For Any Advanced Tumor With Genetic Changes”

Via Forbes.comThe FDA’s accelerated approval of this drug might surprise traditional oncologists. It suggests the agency may be ditching an archaic system for classifying cancers based on body parts—like breast or liver or colon cancer—and instead will focus on molecular aspects of malignancies, qualities that render tumors vulnerable, or not, to targeted drugs.
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Coping with Cancer

“Counseling Improves Survivorship Plan Implementation for Low-Income Breast Cancer Survivors”

Via National Cancer Institute (NCI)“The nurse counseling session was empowering [for the survivors], who were from a vulnerable population that is generally disempowered in their health care,” explained the study’s lead author, Rose Maly, M.D., of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The combination of a care plan and the counseling session, she continued, “set this up to be a powerful and impactful intervention,” she said.
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