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
The House passed a bipartisan bill that both House Speaker McCarthy and President Biden signed off on. The bill would raise the debt ceiling for 2 years in exchange for spending cuts. Here are a few highlights:
- The cuts would be on non-defense discretionary spending (i.e., does not affect mandatory spending like Medicare) as well as rescinding some unspent Covid spending.
- The agreement did NOT include work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries (it does include expanding work requirements for other low-income programs).
- A vote is scheduled in the Senate, although the timing is unclear.
- The bill must pass by June 5th to avoid the debt ceiling from being hit.
KFF released an analysis looking at an early snapshot of 11 states that have released data on how Medicaid redeterminations have gone. Overall, they found about 500,000 Medicaid beneficiaries have been terminated. Several states had very high terminations for procedural reasons rather than eligibility reasons. CBO expects the number of Medicaid beneficiaries being terminated to raise to 15.5 million over the next 12 months.
The FDA approved a 2nd RSV vaccine for people aged 60 and older. This week, the FDA approved Pfizer’s vaccine, which comes on the heel of the FDA approving GlaxoSmithKline’s RSV vaccine. In the pipeline is a maternal vaccine for RSV.
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