Week in Washington 020923

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


State of the Union

This week President Biden delivered his State of the Union speech (as it is almost President’s day, here is a fun fact while George Washington gave the first State of the Union speech in 1790, the speech itself wasn’t referred as the State of the Union speech until 1942). As part of the speech, President Biden released his budget, which functionally is his wish list of policy preferences. These preferences include a cap on insulin in the private insurance market, Medicaid expansion in non-expansion states, and increasing cancer research. There is a low possibility of these policies being enacted.

Debt Ceiling Fight

What is taking center stage in DC these days is the looming fight over raising the debt ceiling. House Republicans are asking for spending cuts or other policy changes in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. While the exact requests are not currently specified, several Republican House members have floated the idea of cuts to Medicaid, imposing work requirements on Medicaid, or repealing the ACA subsidy expansion. It should be noted that absent of a debt ceiling increase, there would be a severe cut to federal payments (including Medicaid, ACA, and Medicare) as well as a high possibility of an economic downturn. The exact timing of when such cuts would happen, absent of a deal, is uncertain but sometime this summer.


Assuming the debt ceiling fight is settled, economic conditions for 2023 are looking brighter. Several pieces of data came in this week (namely good job growth and lower inflation) that decreased the odds of a recession in 2023. Eyes will turn to how the Federal reserve reacts to the news. Continued interest rate increases may increase the risk of economic downturn in 2024.

Previous editions: 

02/02/2023: Week in Washington

01/26/2023: Week in Washington

01/19/2023: Week in Washington

01/12/2023: Week in Washington


01/05/2023: Week in Washington

12/15/2022: Week in Washington

12/08/2022: Week in Washington

12/01/2022: Week in Washington

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