ASCO and New Administration, Congress: Advancing Patient-Focused Cancer Policies

November 15, 2016

The results of every Presidential election offer both challenges and opportunities and we are writing to update you on ASCO’s focus for the next several months.

ASCO’s mission is to help your practice and your patients thrive – in every setting and in every community. Through each administration and Congress, ASCO works closely with policymakers and their staff to make sure that cancer research and care remain top priorities. As after every prior election, we look forward to helping the new Administration and Congress advance policies that foster the best possible care to your patients.  

ASCO will be closely monitoring – and weighing in on – developments in Washington. And we’ll keep you apprised. In particular, we’ll be focused on a few key areas:

  • Appointments to key federal agencies – including the Food and Drug Administration, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and others that will shape both research and delivery of cancer care
  • National Institutes of Health/NCI funding – which is critical for the nation to capitalize on the promise of precision medicine and accelerate cancer research progress
  • Affordable Care Act – how changes, including efforts to repeal or amend the law, might affect people's access to cancer care coverage, and those who–despite the existing law–remain uncovered
  •  Health IT – how policy changes might increase or decrease the burdens on physicians and interoperability, or drive data sharing between doctors, hospitals and researchers

Many of these priorities are embodied in the 21st Century Cures Act and Vice President Joe Biden’s Moonshot Initiative. We support these efforts, and will continue to advocate for them on Capitol Hill and with the White House during the lame duck session of Congress. We will also continue the effort to stop the Medicare Part B demonstration in the lame duck session should the final rule be released.

As we navigate upcoming healthcare changes together, ASCO will advocate for policies that support robust federal funding for cancer research; incentivize high-quality, high-value care; provide stable Medicare reimbursement for the full range of care oncologists provide; and expand access to timely, quality care for people with cancer.

Watch for the latest ASCO in Action Beat for regular updates on the implications of policy changes on cancer care.