In order to bring you the latest cancer-related health care policy and news, we at NCCS combined our ACA Updates and What Caught Our Eye (WCOE) content into a weekly email and blog post. We aim to make this a concise, one-stop summary of what you need to know as we continue working together to make cancer care better for everyone.
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HEALTH CARE HIGHLIGHTS
ACA Troubles in Texas Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by 20 attorneys general from conservative leaning states saw its day in court this week. Earlier this summer, these attorneys general brought forth a lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional because the individual mandate was repealed by Congress last year. With the Trump administration taking the very unusual step of declining to protect a federal law passed by Congress, several democratic attorneys general stepped in to argue that repealing the individual mandate does not invalidate the entire law.
Oral arguments were heard Wednesday by Judge Reed O’Connor, who sounded openly opposed to the ACA. The Judge’s questioning gave the impression that he is skeptical of the ACA’s standing without the individual mandate. He gave no indication of when he will make a decision, but either way, there will almost certainly be an appeal and the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, are underway. Judge Kavanaugh has not provided any insights into his views on the ACA during the hearings, but if he is confirmed he could be a deciding factor on the future of the ACA.
CHART OF THE WEEK
The ACA’s Pre-Existing Condition Protections Remain Popular with the Public, including Republicans, As Legal Challenge Looms This Week
Kaiser Family Foundation
Via Washington Examiner
The House Energy and Commerce’s Health Subcommittee today advanced a series of health care bills. The Washington Examiner notes:
It looks as though bipartisan support for such legislation is growing in Congress and could continue to move ahead. The Senate this week unanimously passed a similar 'gag clause' bill targeting Medicare Part D insurers. That bill now awaits action in the House.
She’s worn both a hospital gown and a white coat. Now she wants to change how doctors perceive their patients
Via STAT News
This is the inspiring story of Shekinah Elmore. Two weeks after finishing treatment for her third stint with cancer, she began medical school. Based on her experiences as both a patient and a doctor, she’s trying to help change the doctor-patient relationship:
Via New York Times
A study called “Closer: A Videoconference Intervention for Distance Caregivers,” research funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, aims to discern the extent to which using technologies can help distance caregivers connect with their loved ones in meaningful ways. This includes virtually attending visits to be a part of the treatment decision making process.