In 2014 the House Energy and Commerce Committee held eight hearings on developing legislation that would help accelerate the development of new treatments for cancer and other serious diseases. In April the following year our blog called on Congress to stop talking and take action and we were thrilled in July of 2015 when the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act, likely the only piece of legislation that the House Republicans and President Obama both supported. Unfortunately the Senate decided to bicker over the funding level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the legislation appeared to die in a partisan stalemate. Read more
When Matt Bevin ran for the office of Governor of Kentucky, he promised to roll back the expansion of Medicaid in the state. I recently read an article about a cancer patient in Kentucky who had grave concerns about these potential changes to Medicaid. His quote, in fact, said he thought these rollbacks, might cost him his life. I was very empathetic until later in the article it noted the man had voted for Bevin because he felt policy issues other than healthcare were more important. Ultimately, Bevin was elected and now we must wait to see how his health policy will impact the people of Kentucky.
The future of health care is arguably one of the most important issues facing our nation. Costs are rising at an unsustainable rate and this could have a devastating effect on our economy. The demand will only increase as baby boomers reach the age range where they will have the greatest need for health care. Considering the bankruptcy rate for cancer patients is already double the national average, we must ask ourselves: what can we do to assure a cancer diagnosis doesn’t equal financial ruin and is our healthcare system taking this into consideration?