Week in Washington

Week in Washington is brought to you by Michael Cohen, PhD. Tune in each week to read the latest on healthcare policy and get a glimpse of what’s on the horizon.

Week in Washington: Grim News

4/2/20

COVID totals and deaths continued to increase both in the US and across the world. Covid-19 is currently the third leading cause of death in the US. Enforced social distancing also accelerated this week. Florida became the latest state to announce a statewide “stay at home” order. Additionally, the US government extended its social distancing recommendations to the end of April. These orders are having an effect. 92% of Americans reported taking part in some social distancing activities.

CDC Data: The CDC released preliminary estimates of hospitalizations and ICU admissions by age and co-morbidity. The CDC noted that underlying chronic conditions (i.e., diabetes, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, etc.) dramatically increases risk. However, even controlling for underlying disease, age still was a significant predictor for complications and death.

CMS Regulations:

Economic News:

  • 6.6 million initial unemployment claims came in for the week ending March 28. That means in two weeks over 10 million Americans filed for unemployment (or roughly a 6 percentage point increase in unemployment). As context, in two weeks a larger number of Americans lost their jobs than during the first 6 months of the Great Recession.
  • Of that 10+ million newly unemployed, likely 3.5 million lost health insurance the past two weeks.
  • As a reminder, loss of employment is NOT a reason for an individual to garner an SEP. Loss of insurance coverage is (i.e., it’s not a 1:1 conversion of unemployment to SEP).
  • CBO is not projecting a V-shaped recession (i.e., quick recovery). They are currently estimating a 9% unemployment rate at the end of 2021. (Most economists are currently expecting the downturn to linger at least for 2021).

 

COVID

 

Other News

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