Week in Washington 010424

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

01/04/2024

Happy new year! While Congress is still on recess, week in Washington thought it might be useful to take a look ahead for big questions and events for 2024.

Federal Budget Negotiations

There remains no final budget agreement for the rest of the year. There are actually two separate budget dates. Part of the government’s funding expires at midnight on January 19th. The remainder of the government funding (including HHS’ funding) expires on February 2nd.  Once a budget deal is reached, it’s unlikely that other legislation will move this year.

ACA Open Enrollment Numbers

Most states open enrollment ends on January 15th. So far enrollment is up 33% so an interesting question is how high ACA enrollment reaches. The evidence to date is that enhanced subsidies have had a positive effect on enrollment. 2025 is the last year before the enhanced subsidies are scheduled to sunset.

Prescription Drugs

While signs are pointing to overall inflation in the US, there is an interesting question on what health care trends do. A particular interest are prescription drug trends. The increasing utilization of GLP-2 drugs (weight-loss drugs) and the recently approved gene therapies for sickle cell could put pressure on drug trends.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a number of rulings in June that could greatly restrict federal government’s power to regulate. This could have direct effects on what future CMS regulations look like and revisiting existing CMS regulations.

Medicaid Redetermination

States are expected to be completed with Medicaid redetermination around July, although some states will be finished before then. A big question is what Medicaid enrollment will look like after redetermination is completed.

2024 Presidential Election

As hard as it may be to believe, the Iowa caucus will take place on January 15th. This will officially kickoff the 2024 Presidential election. The expectation is that the two nominees will have very different policy goals, including health care. Given the decline in split ticket voting (voting for one party for president and another party down-ballet) there is a significant chance that a party will have unified control of the federal government come January 2025.

Previous editions: 

12/14/2023: Week in Washington

12/07/2023: Week in Washington

11/30/2023: Week in Washington

11/16/2023: Week in Washington

 

11/09/2023: Week in Washington

11/02/2023: Week in Washington

10/26/2023: Week in Washington

10/19/2023: Week in Washington

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