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
At the time of writing this blog, the status of who will control either the House or the Senate remains up for grabs. In fact, it is possible that the status of the Senate will be unknown until the run-off election happens in Georgia in December. While control of either chamber is important, whoever governs will have a narrow majority, which potentially could curtail large changes in policies.
While the national outcome is indeterminate, several state elections promise to have significant impact over the next two years.
- Ballot Initiatives
- South Dakota Expands Medicaid. South Dakota voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2023. The ballot initiative is poised to provide coverage to nearly 42,500 South Dakotans.
- Medical Debt – Arizona voters approved a measure that limited Medical debt. The bill could be copied in other states.
- Dental Insurance – Massachusetts voters approved a measure that could allow the Department of Insurance to regulate dental plans more tightly, including imposing a medical loss ratio.
- State Control
- Several states flipped control from one party to another. Two states in particular stood as Democrats gained control of the legislature in both Minnesota and Michigan. With Democratic governors in both states, health care initiatives may become more viable.
Medicaid SCOTUS Case
The Supreme Court heard an important case involving Medicaid this week. The case surrounds the ability of individuals to sue states that violate their rights if they don’t properly implement Medicaid requirements. While the judges appeared skeptical of overturning this right, should the Supreme Court rule against the individuals, states would have far more flexibility in not implementing Medicaid requirements.
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