Congress recently passed a third legislative package focused on stabilizing the United States economy and shoring up the health care system to ensure it is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The bill includes key provisions that will impact the cancer care community, as well as patients with and survivors of cancer.
ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.
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The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is urging the White House and leaders in Congress to swiftly work together to meet the needs of patients and health care professionals in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
On March 18, the President signed into law tthe second emergency supplemental package designed to respond to COVID-19, which requires private health plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, TRICARE, veterans’ plans, federal workers' health plans, and the Indian Health Service to cover the COVID-19 diagnostic test at no cost to the patient and without prior authorization, as long as the patient visits a health care provider, urgent care center, or emergency room before receiving the test.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently held a briefing on Capitol Hill to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about the need for the bipartisan CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913), which would guarantee coverage of the routine care costs for Medicaid enrollees with life-threatening conditions participating in clinical trials.
On March 6, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020. This $8.3 billion package provides funding for the country’s response to coronavirus, including amongst its many provisions an emergency telehealth waiver, vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and assistance for affected small businesses.
Highlights from the bill include:
Emergency Telehealth Waiver ($500 million estimated cost)
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently joined more than a dozen other health groups in sending a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) to convey their support of S.2723—The Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act—which would help reduce drug shortages by addressing vulnerabilities in the drug supply chain. The letter urges the committee to quickly advance this important piece of legislation.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is calling on Members of Congress to continue their support for federally funded research by providing $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including $6.9 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The $3 billion funding increase for NIH will help the agency continue to regain some of the ground it lost after years of effectively flat budgets so the U.S. biomedical research enterprise can continue its important work in support of new advances and cures for patients.
On February 18, 106 organizations representing patients, providers, medical researchers, survivors, and families joined together to urge Congress to include the bipartisan CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913) in the upcoming ‘must pass’ healthcare extenders package, which is expected to pass this spring.
ASCO recently submitted comments to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force in response to a request for information (RFI) on priority topics that affect the health status and outcomes for rural and underserved communities.
President Trump recently signed into law a bill that funds the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and raises the purchasing age of tobacco products to 21.