What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), October 6, 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

“As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law”

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington PostWith the fifth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1, advocates say the Health and Human Services Department has done more to suppress the number of people signing up than to boost it. HHS has slashed grants to groups that help consumers get insurance coverage, for example. It also has cut the enrollment period in half, reduced the advertising budget by 90 percent and announced an outage schedule that would make the HealthCare.gov website less available than last year.
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“The people who used to run Obamacare are now trying to save Obamacare”

By Dan Mangan, CNBC“We’re taking everything we learned about how to reach people with the information they need about deadlines and financial help and are getting to work helping more people enroll,” said Joshua Peck, co-founder of Get America Covered.
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“Obamacare sign-up challenge: proving the law is not dead”

By Yasmeen Abutaleb, ReutersThe uncertainty here in Arizona, echoed in interviews across the country, shows that even though they have not been able to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Republican effort to undermine it is gaining traction.
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Coping with Cancer

“The cancer stories no one wants to hear”

By Renata LouwersWhile our larger cultural conversation around cancer focuses on survivors and miracles, we don’t hear the stories of dying cancer patients — they are often too sick or too busy to tell them. The stories of the dead are lost. These aren’t stories filled with smiling athletes, gritty thumbs-up poses, and fighter metaphors. They are, instead, about the realization that this disease will kill the storyteller.
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Cancer News

“Expanded Access: FDA Describes Efforts to Ease Application Process”

By Scott Gottlieb, MD, FDA Commissioner – FDA Voice BlogFDA has a long history of supporting patient access to investigational new treatments. This includes working with drug and device companies through the clinical trial process that may lead to FDA approval of the treatment. We also offer expanded access programs that provide investigational drugs and devices to patients with serious conditions (generally prior to product approval), when there is no therapeutic alternative.
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“FDA Head Expresses Doubt About ‘Right to Try’ – Agency already has effective compassionate use program in place, argues Scott Gottlieb, MD”

By Shannon Firth, MedPage TodayNew “Right to Try” legislation will not remove the primary roadblock facing terminally ill patients who want to test unapproved, investigational therapies, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, told a House subcommittee Tuesday.
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“5 Takeaways From Congress’ Failure To Extend Funding For Children’s Coverage”

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health NewsCongress finally seems ready to take action on the Children’s Health Insurance Program after funding lapsed Sept. 30. Before the deadline, lawmakers were busy grappling with the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. CHIP covers 9 million children nationwide. But until Congress renews CHIP, states are cut off from additional federal funding that helps lower- and middle-income families.
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