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Week in Washington
News this week in Washington continued to swirl around a potential reconciliation bill (Build Back Better 2.0). However, key swing Senator (Joe Manchin) has been non-committal at supporting any health provision that is not related to drug reform. He also pushed an agreement date into September, which would be too late for any new ACA subsidies to initially be visible to consumers for Open Enrollment.
Part of the stated hesitancy by Manchin is his desire to not make inflation worse. According to new data released this week, it showed inflation is still at 40 year highs. Inflation, according to CPI, was 9.2% year over year. Jason Furman, in the below graph, shows how inflation increases have severely decreased real earnings.
The Congressional Budget Office released its annual 10 year estimates of Health insurance subsidies costs and health insurance enrollment. A few notable highlights.
- CBO assumes that the PHE will go until July 2023.
- Currently, an additional 12.9 million enrollees are in Medicaid as a result of the provisions tied to the PHE (no redeterminations) and will take until mid-2024 for these enrollees to leave Medicaid.
- CBO estimates an additional 2.3 million enrollees are enrolled on the ACA exchanges as a result of the ARP subsidies. While ARP is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, it will take according to CBO until 2024 for all of these enrollees to exit the market.
- The expected implementation of the family glitch fix is estimated to reduce uninsured numbers by 400,000 and increase non-group market enrollment by 900,000.
- Overall, the Uninsured rate is expected to increase over the next two years (from 9% to 11%) as a result of the policy changes.
The CDC issued a warning this week about Omicron subvariant B5. The subvariant has led to an increase in hospitalizations.
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