By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Patient Groups Say GOP Bill on Pre-Existing Conditions Is Insufficient 

As the Affordable Care Act is challenged in court, 12 Republican Senators signed a letter insisting that pre-existing conditions be covered in any new healthcare laws moving forward. Despite initial praise for the GOP, many patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, have voiced concerns about the efforts being far too little and far too late. On September 4, 2018, more than 25 patient advocacy groups came together and released a statement condemning a recent Republican bill stating it didn’t provide enough protections for pre-existing conditions, compared to what’s currently covered under the ACA. The advocacy groups noted the bill's outlying weaknesses and pushed for stronger reassurances.

Many Republicans are facing heat related to earlier failed repeal and replace efforts. Voters from both major parties are incensed to keep the main points in the Affordable Care Act: coverage for pre-existing conditions, coverage of dependents until age 26, and greater Medicaid expansion. The midterm elections in November will shed more light on the issues, but those key points are some of the many healthcare priorities among American voters.

Biden Hits the Trail Like He's Running

In politics, everyone loves contenders until they become official candidates. Then, the gloves are off. A recent article made light of former Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh on Labor Day 2018, speculating whether he was laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in 2020. As with all presidential candidates, Biden would likely face tougher scrutiny if he were to formally declare in 2019 for a presidential run.

That said, the Biden Cancer Initiative—one of the many major undertakings by the Biden family—is a true boost to finding answers to real-world challenges that cancer care, research, and treatment face. His family's support of the expertise of oncology nursing is well known. As former President Obama's head of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, he's brought together clinicians from across the country to advance the fight against cancer. The news cycle never stops, and as 2020 approaches, it will be interesting to see if Biden throws his hat in the presidential ring.  

McCain’s Political Career Highlights the Impact One Voter Can Make

After a somber week on Capitol Hill, millions watched John McCain make his final journey. Senator McCain (R-AZ), known in political circles as the “Maverick,” often pursued policy his way, and he stood tall until the end. In one of his final efforts, he voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, going against the pressure of party lines. His decision potentially led to the continued health care of many Americans.

In the week prior to his death, McCain’s family announced his decision to discontinue cancer treatment. It was a moment that highlighted the importance of oncology nurses when helping patients and families navigate end-of-life treatments and advanced care planning. Now, in the weeks following his death, his family, war record, and political career have been reviewed with awe and consternation. As he said many times himself, he was an imperfect leader but an impactful one. McCain’s story is an important reminder of the impact that a single vote and a single voter can make. Be sure to join your voice to ONS's advocacy efforts today.