What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), July 7th, 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

“Local cancer survivor continues to fight, this time for health care”

Rebecca Esparza

“I’m not just up there on Capitol Hill for myself, but I’m taking the concerns of our constituents here at home to Capitol Hill as well.”
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Affordable Care Act

“When You Have Cancer And Your Insurer Drops You”

By Kate Ashford, Forbes.com“In the last few months, insurers that have announced that they’re leaving the marketplace have pointed to the uncertainty going forward,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “About what the rules are going to be.”

In particular, she says, insurers are concerned that the government will stop enforcing the individual mandate requiring people to purchase insurance, allowing people to go without coverage until they get sick and then requiring companies to provide a policy—an unsustainable financial model. Companies are also worried that the government will stop reimbursing insurance companies for subsidies.
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“At parades and protests, GOP lawmakers get earful about health care”

By Dave Weigel, Murray Carpenter and Julia O’Malley, Washington Post“I heard, over and over again, encouragement for my stand against the current version of the Senate and House health-care bills. People were thanking me, over and over again. ‘Thank you, Susan!’ ‘Stay strong, Susan!’” –Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
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“The Most Unpopular Bill in Three Decades”

By David Nather, Axios.comThis is why Senate Republicans are having so much trouble with the health care bill. The Republican health care effort is the most unpopular legislation in three decades — less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the widely hated Troubled Asset Relief Program bank bailout bill in 2008, and even President Bill Clinton’s failed health reform effort in the 1990s.
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“Have Employer Coverage? GOP Proposals Will Affect You Too (Part 2)”

By JoAnn Volk and Sabrina Corlette, Health AffairsAs Senate Republican leaders continue to craft their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most attention has been focused on the number of individuals who would lose coverage if the legislation is enacted. To be sure, the ACA coverage expansions—through Medicaid and subsidized Marketplace plans—have been a lifeline for millions of people, particularly those who are low income, and have reduced the number of individuals without coverage to record lows. But the legislation that passed the House and the bill now under consideration in the Senate could also affect the more than 150 million people with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) who gained federally guaranteed protections against catastrophic costs.
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“How the GOP and Democrats might begin to compromise on health care”

By Lev Facher & Erin Mershon, Stat NewsSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned last week that Republicans’ failure to pass comprehensive health care reform could have dire consequences. He even warned of one scenario rarely seen here lately: bipartisanship.
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Cancer Policy

“Deaths from cancer higher in rural America, CDC finds”

By Lena H. Sun“While geography alone can’t predict your risk of cancer, it can impact prevention, diagnosis and treatment opportunities — and that’s a significant public health problem in the U.S. Many cancer cases and deaths are preventable, and with targeted public health efforts and interventions, we can close the growing gap between rural and urban Americans.” –Anne Schuchat, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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“FDA Tackles Drug Competition to Improve Patient Access”

FDA Press Release“No patient should be priced out of the medicines they need … Getting safe and effective generic products to market in an efficient way, being risk-based in our own work and making sure our rules aren’t used to create obstacles to new competition can all help make sure that patients have access to more lower-cost options.” –FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D
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“Undermining Genetic Privacy? Employee Wellness Programs and the Law”

By Kathy L. Hudson, Ph.D and Karen Pollitz, MPP, published in New England Journal of MedicineH.R. 1313 [the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act] undermines the principle that genetic information needs the highest level of protection so that people can make decisions about obtaining their own information without fearing that it might be used against them. It thus challenges individual autonomy, a bedrock ethical principle in medicine and research.
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Coping with Cancer

“A Unique Way to Explain Post-Cancer Fatigue”

By Bonnie Annis, Cure MagazineTrying to explain post-cancer fatigue is frustrating! When you don’t necessarily look sick, people don’t expect you to act like you’re sick. But looks are deceiving and aren’t always a good indicator of health.
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