Supreme Court ACA Case; Cancer Moonshot; COVID-19 Outbreak
Supreme Court Will Hear Third ACA Case
As part of its focus to dismantle the 2010 healthcare law, the GOP repealed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate in 2017 (https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171220.323429/full/). Republican state attorneys general then challenged the law’s constitutionality in a series of lower court cases, and the most recent has been lingering in federal courts for more than a year (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/government-shutdown-aca-ruled-invalid-medicare-for-all-push). On March 2, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the issue (https://www.rollcall.com/2020/03/02/supreme-court-will-hear-challenge-to-2010-health-care-law/), marking the third time the law will be heard at the highest court in the country (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/us/supreme-court-obamacare-appeal.html).
By most observations, the Supreme Court is split four to four, and many say it will be up to Chief Justice Roberts as the swing vote. The ruling could go either way. All eyes are on the court as it considers the case again.
Cancer Moonshot Forges Ahead
Although the Bidens have put aside their focus for the Cancer Moonshot during the former vice president’s campaign bid (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/bidens-step-down-from-foundation-as-presidential-campaign-is-formalized), many advocates, healthcare professionals, and interested parties have been working on the Cancer Moonshot’s goal of making a decade’s progress in half the time (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/president-obama-challenges-nation-with-moonshot-cancer-cure). Researchers and stakeholders continue to work, meet, and share findings (https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/cancer-moonshot-nci-workshop-advances-collaboration?cid=eb_govdel), keeping the Moonshot’s ideals alive.
ONS leaders and members have been active in the Moonshot’s efforts since its inception (https://voice.ons.org/topic/cancer-moonshot), offering the valuable voice of oncology nurses in the conversation (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/ons-leaders-named-to-biden-cancer-initiative-board-and-advisory-committee). Once the dust settles from the 2020 election cycle, many believe federal support for the Moonshot’s efforts will return. Nurses are integral to the conversation (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/get-involved), sharing patient experiences, clinical expertise, and necessary research findings to drive cancer care into the future.
Shalala Calls for Focus During COVID-19 Outbreak
As the longest-serving secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and current congressional representative, Donna Shalala (D-FL) has a unique perspective on public health issues (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/nurses-in-congress-defending-the-aca-bidens-moonshot-mission). In an opinion piece in the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/opinion/coronavirus-health-trump.html), Shalala discussed the need for the U.S. government to remove politics from the public health conversation about COVID-19 and take a focused look at how to address pandemics.
Oncology nurses have practice concerns about the COVID-19 virus (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/how-to-manage-ppe-supply-shortages-related-to-covid-19), and patients are looking to nurses for more information (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/covid-19-fact-sheet-and-implications-for-patients-with-cancer)—especially as an immunocompromised population. Shalala makes salient points about public health priorities and the important role of healthcare professionals. As the most trusted profession in the United States (https://news.gallup.com/poll/274673/nurses-continue-rate-highest-honesty-ethics.aspx), nurses must speak up and offer their perspective (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/get-involved).