What We're Reading: Ad Campaign Against Medicare Changes; GoFundMe for Medical Costs; New Diet Guidelines

Patient advocacy and medical groups launch an ad campaign in opposition to proposed changes to Medicare; patients often turn to GoFundMe to help pay for medical costs; and new diet guidelines are aiming to save more lives and the planet.

Groups Launch Ad Campaign Against Drug Pricing Proposal

Patient advocacy and medical groups have launched an advertising campaign against proposed changes that would allow private Medicare prescription drug plans to use methods like prior authorization and step therapy, which they say will “put patients’ lives at risk,” reported STAT News. The ads will run in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and the campaign includes the American Cancer Society’s advocacy arm, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Patients Use GoFundMe for Medical Costs

New Diet Guidelines Aim to Save Lives and the Planet

Medical fundraisers account for 1 in 3 of GoFundMe’s campaigns and bring in more than any other GoFundMe category, the website’s chief executive officer told Kaiser Health News. In addition to raising money for medical bills and costs for doctor visits, the crowdsourcing also assists patients with paying for indirect costs of medical needs, including gas, hotels, and food. GoFundMe said that contributors have raised more than $5 billion from 50 million donations in the 8 years its been in business.A new set of diet guidelines developed by an international team of scientists is focusing on cutting meat and sugar consumption in half and upping intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, reported CNN. The “planetary health diet” can prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths without harming the planet, according to the researchers, who warn that a global change in diet and food production is needed as 3 billion people across the world remain malnourished and food production is overstepping environmental targets, driving climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.