Week in Washington 102623

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


New Speaker

House Republicans finally selected a replacement Speaker of the House this week. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) is expected to push for a continuing (spending) resolution that would keep the government open until January or April. While relatively unknown, the new Speaker does have a history of more conservative positions than former Speaker McCarthy. Johnson put a health care plan in 2019 that called for the repeal of the ACA and capping Medicaid funding. He also helped put out a budget plan in 2022 that advocated for raising the Medicare age and shifting Medicare to a premium support model.  

ACA Data

CMS opened window shopping ahead of the November 1st start date for Open Enrollment. They also released data on how premiums changed in 2024 as well as the plan PUF files.  


The US economy accelerated in the third quarter. Overall, the economy grew at 4.9% in Q3. The continued growth was driven mostly by consumer spending. The higher than expected growth could raise concerns about accelerating inflation/Federal reserve rate hikes.

Utilization Decline in 2022

Trilliant Health published data showing that visit volume declined in 2022, relative to 2021. Across nearly all care settings, the exception being emergency department visits (+3.1%), visit volume decline. Urgent care, primary care, and home health saw the largest declines.



States and Medicare Advantage

Politico reported that some states were lobbying congress to allow them some oversight over Medicare Advantage plans, specifically around marketing tactics. Currently, states do not have a role in overseeing MA plans. However, the lobbying may pressure CMS to continue its efforts on regulating marketing tactics.

Previous editions: 

10/19/2023: Week in Washington

10/12/2023: Week in Washington

09/21/2023: Week in Washington

09/07/2023: Week in Washington


08/31/2023: Week in Washington

08/24/2023: Week in Washington

08/17/2023: Week in Washington

08/10/2023: Week in Washington

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