Week in Washington 113023

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


2024 Campaign

For the first time (but not the last) the issue of health care has entered the 2024 campaign discussion. Former President Trump announced that he was looking at alternatives to the Affordable Care Act should he win the election. While no details on what that may include the fact that it was mentioned likely means the ACA will be salient during the 2024 election.


With only a few weeks before Congress takes its Christmas recess, there’s very little bandwidth for any last-minute legislation. If something were to pass, the focus would likely be on foreign aid rather than anything health care related.

Potential Merger

The Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) that Cigna and Humana were discussing a potential merger, which would be finalized by the end of the year. The combined firm would have 35 million members and about $60 billion in size. Axios reported that the main antitrust concern may focus on the two firms’ pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).


Politico reported that the FDA will soon decide on whether to approve the first gene therapy that modifies cells of people with severe sickle cell disease. The new treatment uses gene editing technology (CRISPR) to change gene information. The treatment is designed to permanently treat the disease but also could be priced between $1 million and $2 million.

Payment Notice

Wakely’s summary of the 2025 Payment Notice can be found here. A brief on how the actuarial value calculator changes might influence 2025 plan designs will be forthcoming.

Previous editions: 

11/16/2023: Week in Washington

11/09/2023: Week in Washington

11/02/2023: Week in Washington

10/26/2023: Week in Washington


10/19/2023: Week in Washington

10/12/2023: Week in Washington

09/21/2023: Week in Washington

09/07/2023: Week in Washington

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