By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Director of Health Policy

Sanders Gains Support for Single-Payer Health Care Push

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently gave an interview for The Nation to discuss his announcement and subsequent push for a single-payer healthcare system in the United States. During his 2016 presidential bid, Sanders campaigned for universal health care and gained significant support from the public. However, many on Capitol Hill were still unsure of a “Medicare-for-all” plan. Despite the initially tepid response, Sanders recently outlined a new single-payer healthcare bill he plans to introduce, and he’s gaining surprising support from several senators in Washington, DC.

Eight U.S. senators have signed on as cosponsors for the bill, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA). What was once considered unfathomable to many, Sanders’ universal healthcare plan is slowly finding roots among policymakers. As the healthcare debate continues to rage in DC, the new push for single-payer care will add another wrinkle to future proceedings. ONS will continue to weigh in on the conversation, especially when it comes to providing accessible cancer care to all Americans.

GOP Senators Put Forth Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill

GOP Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have put forth what is likely a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill has to be approved and voted on by Congress’s September 30 deadline. The GOP is still struggling to secure enough votes for the bill, especially after Senator John McCain (R-AZ) announced he would vote against the bill if it came to it. The Graham-Cassidy bill would replace ACA tax subsidies with block grants and scale back its current Medicaid expansion, which could potentially lead to millions of Americans losing health insurance.

ONS recently joined its voice with other national health organizations to encourage senators to vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill, citing the hazards it would pose to millions of Americans who undergo cancer treatments on a daily basis. ONS will continue to support access to quality cancer care as one of its top policy priorities.

New Toolkit Helps Nurses Integrate Genomics in Cancer Care

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has launched a new website aimed at nurses and other healthcare professionals looking to integrate genomics into patient care. The online toolkit provides access to more than 100 genomic resources to address the constantly evolving developments in the genomic field. The toolkit, called the Method for Introducing a New Competency Genomics (MINC), offers resources for nurse leaders at all levels of genomics from basic knowledge to practical impacts on health systems and policies.

“The MINC toolkit is a starting point for healthcare providers who want to promote genomic integration into practice to benefit their patients,” Laura Lyman Rodriguez, PhD, director of the Division of Policy, Communication, and Education at NHGRI, said. “It was designed based on the efforts of Magnet hospital nurses whose experiences were used in the design and foundation for the toolkit.”

NHGRI knows that nurses stand at the forefront of new medical advancements and are critical the implementation and success of new sciences. It hopes that the MINC is a starting point from which nurses can improve patient care through the science of genomics.

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