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Week in Washington
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.
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.
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