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

Medicare for All Is the Dream, But Medicaid for More Could Be the Reality

Policymakers including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have been pushing the idea of Medicare for All as a solution to the healthcare system in the United States. Many are touting the benefits of a single-payer system. However, opponents cite potentially massive costs and implementation issues. Democratic process likely will prevail, and a potential bipartisan compromise could come in the form of Medicare for More—an expanded form of Medicare.

Although many political insiders see a blue wave for the 2018 midterm elections, bringing the Democrats back into the majority, the success of candidates backed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is limited. The far-left's idea of Medicare for All, picked up substantial support in the last year, but it's still unlikely to be as popular as simply expanding Medicare to more Americans. Ultimately, increasing access and coverage—especially for preventive services—has legs with many elected officials. Midterm elections matter, and the outcome will have a real impact on the immediate future, setting the agenda for 2019 and beyond. Learn more about important advocacy topics from ONS Voice.

FDA Commissioner Makes Statement on Supporting New Nicotine Replacement Drug Therapies

Since his appointment as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) commissioner, Scott Gottlieb has championed more control and jurisdiction over tobacco marketing, manufacturing, and distribution. In a recent statement, Gottlieb touted the agency’s support for nicotine replacement therapies that could help more Americans quit smoking. FDA is drawing stark lines with the tobacco industry, and rather than being lenient with big tobacco, the government is using the full weight of its authority to make it more difficult for people to start smoking.

However, the lines are still blurred as new products are introduced and allow current smokers to find alternatives. There's a powerful nicotine element to new products—like e-cigarettes—and a potentially dangerous public health impact. ONS works to educate healthcare professionals, policymakers, patients, and family members about the importance of smoking cessation.

How Drug Companies Are Beating Trump at His Own Game

Despite the president's penchant for sharing public policy on Twitter, little work has ever been accomplished because of social media. Ultimately, his tweets make for good headlines, especially after drug companies took notice and ostensibly changed pricing policies to avoid further spotlight. However, reports are emerging that, although drug companies adjusted policies, many simply cut costs for older drugs that produce small revenues or that holding price increases won’t impact future price hikes. Moves like this had the effect of offering positive headlines but little in the way of substantial savings to patients.  

For drug companies, it's better to be preemptive than to have Congress convene hearings and shed a brighter light on high drug costs and the massive profits they make. But costly medications are a bipartisan issue, and the high price of drugs affect patients throughout the country. Oncology nurses are central to ensure their patients voices are heard. Join ONS's advocacy efforts today.