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

Bipartisan Senate Support for Palliative and Hospice Care

An ONS priority bill, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) emphasizes how providers are educated and trained in palliative care, enabling them to provide a higher level of care to their patients. PCHETA legislation—and its reception on Capitol Hill—has evolved from being misinterpreted as training providers to hasten death to a true understanding that palliative care is patient-centered care, and it provides patients and their family members with further treatment options, symptom management resources, and quality of life. In a display of bipartisanship, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced PCHETA legislation to the Senate floor for consideration.

In 2018, PCHETA passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, but it was stalled in the Senate before the midterm elections. Currently, PCHETA has more than 300 cosponsors in the House. With its introduction in the Senate, advocacy efforts will concentrate on moving the bill forward in the upper chamber. ONS remains committed to the fight for its passage. Learn more about advocating for PCHETA’s success on the Oncology Nursing Podcast.

Does Tobacco Use Threaten National Security?

In a united message from the surgeons general of the armed forces, the top military health leaders decried tobacco use among servicemembers, noting its impacts as more than a public health concern but as a matter of national security. The armed forces have taken a bold step, and the tobacco cessation community welcomed it with enthusiasm.

In their call to action, each division’s top military health leaders encouraged efforts to reduce tobacco use across the entire armed forces, hoping to wean current users and curtail adoption by new enlistees. The novel approach to solve an established problem may make a real difference in the number of servicemembers who smoke. ONS advocates are hard at work sharing their experiences about the impacts of tobacco use. Join your voice to the advocacy efforts and make a difference.

Trump Considers Executive Order on Drug Prices

After losing a court battle to include prescription medication costs in TV ads, President Trump issued a statement saying he would consider another executive order to address high prescription drug costs. The order would allow specific prescription medications to be imported from certain countries to increase competition and level the playing field in terms of costs to consumers. Issuing an executive order is a presidential right but implementing the policy within is still a logistical mystery.

Drug companies and some advocates worry about the safety and efficacy of importing medications, but others see an opportunity to change the cost dynamic for patients. A concrete solution to soaring drug prices requires Congress to come together to issue sustainable drug pricing legislation. Help elected officials understand the burden of cost for patients by sharing your experiences as an ONS advocate.