By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director
Trump Officials Again Slash Funding for Obamacare Outreach Groups
Previously, reports had emerged that the Trump administration was considering cuts to funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach groups whose aim has been to educate and assist Americans interested in enrolling in the healthcare program. On July 10, 2018, the administration officially announced funding cuts to the outreach programs, reducing their funding from $36 million to $10 million for 2019.
Interestingly, insurers—who have never been big supporters of the ACA—are using the limited ACA enrollment numbers as reason to increase premiums for everyone else. It seems like a vicious cycle, but the free market economy is fickle and depends on the first principle of economics: supply and demand. Unfortunately, this is just another case where health care takes a backseat to dollars and cents. ONS's advocacy and policy efforts are working to make sure nurses are head and politicians keep patients at the center of the healthcare conversation.
Pfizer Postpones Price Hikes After Trump Criticism
In June 2018, President Trump released his blueprint plan for affordable drug costs and the medication pricing issue. Recently, the president called out drug manufacturer Pfizer on Twitter for raising medication costs for Americans. After the interaction, Pfizer released a statement indicating the company would reverse its decision—for the time being—to allow the Trump administration to implement a plan to curb rising medication costs.
The exchange between Pfizer and the president is a good marketing and public relations tactic, and it includes the president's drug pricing blueprint in the conversation. In many cases, when the private sector doesn't heed the political climate, bipartisan efforts can take hold. Once that happens, it can lead to sweeping and more intrusive regulations than any company cares to see implemented. It will be interesting to see if Pfizer's competitors follow suit. Ultimately, the price cuts are a boon for patient—at least for now. ONS continues to follow the prescription medication conversation. Read more at ONS Voice.
Medicare for All Is New Democratic Mantra in Congressional Races
As the 2018 midterm elections draw closer, many politicians are grappling with messages about health care in the United States. Many voters are starting to embrace the idea of a single-payer healthcare system. Even in conservative hotspots, Americans are experiencing high medical bills that outpace their current income and cost of living.
To that end, Medicare for all has become an acceptable rallying cry for the upcoming midterm campaigns. It's not a universal message, but hearing it from politicians is becoming more commonplace, and it's shaping the future healthcare discussion. After the 2018 midterm elections, if either or both the House of Representatives and Senate have a change in leadership, the conversation could gain steam. To ensure our policymakers and elected officials are informed and keeping patients in the discussion, oncology nurses will continue to advocate and make their voices heard. Join ONS's advocacy efforts today.