What Caught Our Eye (WCOE), September 8, 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

“Cassidy-Graham: the Obamacare repeal plan McCain is supporting, explained”

By Sarah Kliff, Vox.comThe senator who cast the final vote to kill Obamacare repeal is unexpectedly helping to revive that effort from the dead. Sen. John McCain told the Hill Wednesday that he would support a plan offered by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And McCain later released a statement clarifying that he supports the bill in concept, but hasn’t seen a final product.
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“Lawmakers Debate How Much Wiggle Room To Give States In Health Care”

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health NewsOne of the few things that Republicans and Democrats broadly agree on is that states should have some flexibility to experiment with different ways to pay for and deliver health care. But they disagree—strongly—on how much. In fact, Republicans don’t agree with one another on this, and that dissent helped sink efforts this summer to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Bridging these divides will help determine the success of a bipartisan effort in the Senate this month to help shore up the individual health insurance market.
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“The Health 202: ‘Fix and Fine-Tune’ could be the new GOP Obamacare slogan”

By Sean Sullivan, Washington PostRepeal and replace, meet Fix and Fine-Tune.

After spending months trying — and failing — to undo major parts of the Affordable Care Act, a growing number of Senate Republicans have turned their attention to a new goal: shoring up the insurance marketplaces under the law the GOP spent seven years fighting tooth and nail.

The effort convened in earnest yesterday when Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) kicked off the first of four bipartisan hearings on the subject. His goal: Strike a bipartisan deal by the end of next week.
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Coping With Cancer

“Healthy, but Still Hurting: Challenges of Cancer Survivorship”

By Laura Joszt, AJMC.comThe assumption in the United States is that once someone with cancer is cured, done with treatment, and healthy, that they are now okay. However, the reality is that survivors contend with lingering challenges that aren’t visible and make it difficult for them to ask for help or admit they need it.

Samantha Watson, the CEO and founder of The Samfund, was diagnosed first with Ewing’s sarcoma in 1999 and subsequently with myelodysplastic syndrome, and during her treatment it was clear that she was sick.
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“Survivors of Childhood Cancer More Likely to Experience Financial Burden”

By Brielle Urciuoli, CureToday.comMany survivors of childhood cancer face financial hardships after moving into adulthood, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Data was gathered from the Childhood Cancer Study and an age-stratified random sample of 580 survivors of childhood cancer was compared with a control group of 173 siblings of cancer survivors. The survivors were more likely to have out of pocket medical costs that added up to be 10 percent or more of their annual household income.
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Cancer News

“IBM pitched its Watson supercomputer as a revolution in cancer care. It’s nowhere close”

By Casey Ross & Ike Swetlitz, STAT NewsBreathlessly promoting its signature brand—Watson—IBM sought to capture the world’s imagination, and it quickly zeroed in on a high-profile target: cancer.

But three years after IBM began selling Watson to recommend the best cancer treatments to doctors around the world, a STAT investigation has found that the supercomputer isn’t living up to the lofty expectations IBM created for it. It is still struggling with the basic step of learning about different forms of cancer. Only a few dozen hospitals have adopted the system, which is a long way from IBM’s goal of establishing dominance in a multibillion-dollar market. And at foreign hospitals, physicians complained its advice is biased toward American patients and methods of care.
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