CAPC Statement: Formation of Bipartisan Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus Signals Support for Palliative Care
On July 26, 2019, Senators Jacky Rosen, John Barrasso, Deb Fischer, and Tammy Baldwin announced the formation of a new bipartisan Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus that will explore policy solutions to improve care for people living with serious illness. At the launch event on July 31, Senator Rosen gave impassioned remarks about the need to improve quality of life for these patients and their families – and highlighted palliative care as a key solution. The event also featured remarks from Senator Barrasso, as well as a panel presentation from Keysha Brooks-Coley (American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network), Lori Bishop (National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization), Andrew MacPherson (Coalition to Transform Advanced Care), and Clevis Parker, MD (Nathan Adelson Hospice).
CAPC applauds the leadership of the Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus Co-Chairs, and stands ready to support their efforts. “In recent years, policymakers have shown growing interest in palliative care as a bipartisan, evidence-based approach to relieving the symptoms and stress of serious illness,” says CAPC Director, Diane E. Meier, MD. “This new caucus further demonstrates Senate leaders’ commitment to improving care for people at the point of diagnosis and creates a powerful platform to advance meaningful policy initiatives.” One example is the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 647/S. 2080) which would improve the training of health professionals in the core competencies of palliative care; establish a national campaign to inform patients, families and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care services; direct NIH to expand research in the areas of palliative care, pain and symptom management.