Week in Washington 042221

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



The House Democrats reintroduced a drug pricing reform bill (HR3). HR3 would result in three major changes: first, it would change Medicare Part D to include a true maximum out of pocket ($2000); secondly, it would penalize drug companies who raise drug prices too quickly, and finally, allows HHS to negotiate some drugs. The bill is being pushed by House Democrats to be part of the forthcoming next big legislation piece (American Families Plan).


  • Texas Medicaid Waiver Revoked: CMS revoked Texas’ Medicaid waiver that was scheduled to start in 2022. The waiver was approved at the end of the Trump Administration. The new Biden Administration cited that the waiver approval did not follow appropriate public notice and comment. The revocation of the waiver has spillover effects as the nominee for the head of CMS (Chiquita Brooks-LaSure) is stalled as a result.
  • PHE Extension: Secretary Becerra officially extended the Public Health Emergency for another three months, effective April 21, 2021. The expectation is the PHE will continue at least until the end of 2021.
  • CMMI News: Liz Fowler, head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), gave an important speech at the National Association of ACOs (NAACOs). Fowler outlined future priorities for CMMI. You can read a good summary here.


  • CMS released data on the 2021 Open Enrollment experience (the 2021 OE PUF). You can find it here
  • The Maryland Exchange approved state subsidies targeted to young adults. Maryland joins about half a dozen other Exchanges offering subsidies in addition to what the Federal government is providing.
  • Jason Levitis provided considerations for state policy in light of the American Recovery Act. You can read it here


  • KFF released new analysis on drug costs in the Medicare Program. Overall, they found that the 250 top-selling drugs in Medicare Part D with one manufacturer and no generic or biosimilar competition accounted for 60% of net total Part D spending. You can find their research here

Previous editions: 

4/15/2021: Week in Washington

4/08/2021: Week in Washington

3/25/2021: Week in Washington

3/18/2021: Week in Washington


3/11/2021: Week in Washington

3/04/2021: Week in Washington

2/25/2021: Week in Washington

2/18/2021: Week in Washington

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