Week In Washington: Almost End of Year

December 14, 2018

ACA Enrollment Still Lagging: With only a few more days before the end of open enrollment, state Exchanges operated by HHS (healthcare.gov states) are still about 12% lower in terms of enrollment year over year.

End of Year Legislation: The Republican Ways and Means Committee is pushing for delays in several ACA taxes (HIT, Cadillac, medical device tax) but is facing opposition from Democratic lawmakers, according to the Hill. Time is quickly running out for anything to be done before the end of the year.

CBO Releases Report on Reducing the Deficit: Each year, CBO releases a report on the plethora of ways the US can reduce the deficit. The topics are not just limited to healthcare. Two that I’d flag for your consumption are requiring manufacturers to pay a minimum rebate on drugs covered Under Part D for low-income beneficiaries and modifying payments to MA plans (specifically by changing the risk-adjustment policies).

Medicare For All: Vox has an excellent summary of the 8 (yes 8) competing Medicare for All policies. There’s extreme variation among policy makers on different “Medicare for All” plans so Vox does a good job summarizing where they are similar and where they are different.

Blues Lawsuit: A federal appeals courts dealt Blue Cross and Blue shield insurers a legal blow in the ongoing class action lawsuit that accuses the Blues of anti-competitive practices. The ruling will make it easier for providers and plan members to prove the plans impeded competition. You can read more about the case and next steps here in Modern Healthcare.