Week in Washington: Legislation to Watch

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Week in Washington: Legislation to Watch        


A quick post on Health Care Legislation and other things to keep an eye on.

On The Hill

  • The current funding agreement for the Federal government is set to expire on December 20. The expectation is that Congress will pass some spending for the next year. There is a question if any health care related items are included in the spending package.
  • Lamar Alexander was quoted by The Hill that consensus had been reached on a Surprise Billing package which protects consumers. However, according to Politico, there has been noticeable silence from some key Senate Democrats.
  • Similarly there has been conflicting signals about a delay in the health insurance tax. There is ongoing discussions as to what to do about the  HIT fee. Politico reported that it was unlikely to be passed before year’s end. 

RADV White Paper

CMS released a RADV White Paper for proposed changes to the ACA RADV program. In particular, the paper asks for feedback on changes to:

  • Enrollee Sampling (should the sample size be adjusted)
  • Outlier Detection (whether detection of outliers should be changed)
  • Error rate calculation (alternative options for adjusting risk scores including negative failure rates)
  • Application of HHS-RADV (whether it should be prospective of retrospective)

Comments are due January 6. 

Other Things to Be Aware Of:

  • A landmark paper was released on the effects of insurance coverage on mortality. Overall the authors found that for ages 45-64, 6 months of health insurance reduces mortality by about 1 percentage point. You can read the article here.
  • OACT released their estimates of US health care spending. Overall US spending increased 4.6% to reach $3.6 trillion in 2018. The authors found that the number of uninsured increased by 1 million people.
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