Week in Washington 111821

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



Build Back Better

  • Timing of the Build Back Better legislation continues to be unclear. Latest reports is that voting in the House could happen as soon Friday. Voting in the Senate is likely mid-December although it may depend on how other legislation (debt ceiling, funding, defense authorization) go.

  • KFF released a very useful summary of the bill that you can find here

  • The current spending resolution expires on December 3. There is ongoing debates on if a new spending plan will go for a full year or for only a few weeks. The more debate and discussion around the continued resolution that occurs the less there is for BBB.

Cures Act 2.0

  • What is being dubbed Cures 2.0 was introduced this week. The bill would make permanent a number of the telehealth access changes that expire when the public health emergency ends. It also includes funding for research on topics like Long COVID. Politico reported that action on this is bill is not expected until 2022.


  • No Surprise Act Regulation. The fourth regulation related to the No Surprise Act was released by CMS this week. The regulation requires Health Insurers to provide CMS with data on prescription drugs and Medical cost data starting December 27, 2022.

  • Regs Coming – OMB is reviewing several regulations from CMS currently including the ACA Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2023 ; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program; and the Hospital Inpatient prospective payment systems rules

  • CMS also released the initial Exchange Open Enrollment numbers. This year may be difficult to compare to previous years as several states are no longer on the federal platform that were last year and a few states expanded in their Medicaid programs (i.e., all things equal the top line Healthcare.gov figures should be smaller).


  • Cases were up about 17%this week. Hospitalization numbers were also up. While the expectation is that winter numbers will not be as bad as last year, areas in the North could experience large increases in the coming weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Previous editions: 

11/11/2021: Week in Washington

11/04/2021: Week in Washington

10/28/2021: Week in Washington

10/21/2021: Week in Washington


10/14/2021: Week in Washington

10/07/2021: Week in Washington

09/30/2021: Week in Washington

09/23/2021: Week in Washington

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