What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), November 17, 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.

Affordable Care Act

“Obamacare’s individual mandate, the new target in the GOP tax plan, explained”

Via Vox.comThe revised Senate tax bill would repeal the individual mandate. Repealing the mandate — which is the gear that makes the Affordable Care Act tick — would save more than $300 billion over 10 years, but only because millions fewer Americans would have health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also means higher premiums, because the younger, healthier people who have an incentive to buy insurance rather than pay the mandate would be expected to exit the market while the sicker people stay in.
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“Obamacare Signups Are Up 47% From Last Year So Far”

Via Bloomberg NewsAmericans signed up for Obamacare at a brisk pace for a second straight week, an early sign that Republican efforts to repeal or undermine the law earlier this year may have backfired.

Americans enrolled in almost 1.5 million Affordable Care Act health plans on healthcare.gov in the first 11 days of the open enrollment period, a 47 percent increase over a similar period last year.
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Coping With Cancer

“The Changing Science Of Metastatic Breast Cancer”

Via Cure MagazineIt’s a beautiful thing when science catches up to what patients have been saying.

That’s what is happening in the metastatic breast cancer community. I’ve had metastatic breast cancer for nearly three years, and while I admit that I felt like I’d been “hit by a truck,” as my oncologist’s nurse put it on the day I learned breast cancer had metastasized in my body, for quite some time I struggled to get my feet back under me and moving again. I wasn’t blind to what I read online: Research to find out how to prevent, stop and cure metastasis was not adequately funded.
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Health Policy

“Gottlieb: ‘End the shenanigans’ on slow-playing REMS to delay generic drug competition”

Via Endpoints NewsFDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb yesterday called on brand name drug companies to “end the shenanigans” that restrict generic drug competition, specifically pointing to the tactic of slow-playing shared Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) terms intended to prevent generic manufacturers from purchasing drug products needed to run bioequivalence or bioavailability studies that FDA approval requires.
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“Trump Administration Plan to Add Medicaid Work Requirement Stirs Fears”

Via Kaiser Health NewsThe Trump administration’s recent endorsement of work requirements in Medicaid and increased state flexibility is part of broader strategy to shrink the fast-growing program for the poor and advance conservative ideas that Republicans failed to get through Congress.

“This new approach is not really about promoting work or improving care or improving state flexibility. At the end of the day, it is making it harder for low-income people to access health coverage,” said Katherine Howitt of Community Catalyst.
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“Trump turns to drug industry for his new health secretary”

Via Stat NewsTurning to an industry he’s rebuked, President Donald Trump on Monday picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his health secretary.

If confirmed, Alex Azar would oversee a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, including “Obamacare,” as well as medical research, food and drug safety, and public health.
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