U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced S. 2243 Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) on July 11.
The bipartisan bill would create a national public education and awareness campaign to educate patients and providers about the availability and benefits of palliative care, expand federal research regarding palliative care, including pain and symptom management, and establish palliative care education and training programs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
“We applaud Senators Tammy Baldwin and Shelley Moore Capito for championing PCHETA and prioritizing these important services for cancer patients and survivors by reintroducing this critical legislation that would provide greater access to palliative care services in the future,” noted Lisa Lacasse, President at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage of illness and is about helping individuals diagnosed continue to do the things that are important to them from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.”
Late last month, nearly 50 patients and survivors from across the country traveled to D.C. to meet with their respective lawmakers to advocate for their support on PCHETA as part of the Patient Quality of Life’s coalition 8th annual Lobby Day. The subset of ACS CAN volunteers within the group conducted over 52 meetings on the Hill.
“ACS CAN has long advocated for improved quality of life for cancer patients and survivors and we urge the Senate to prioritize passage of this important legislation this year to save lives, reduce health care costs and simultaneously prioritize disease treatment with comprehensive support for the person diagnosed,” added Lacasse. “The reintroduction of PCHETA allows us a renewed opportunity to ease a cancer patients’ experience by expanding access to critical palliative care services and increasing public awareness which will lead to patients accessing this care.”
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life through the relief of symptoms, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. PCHETA was introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Shelley Moore Capito last Congress and received bipartisan support from 31 co-sponsors.
This story was published by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network on July 11, 2023. It is republished with permission.