Trump Names Two New Leaders to Key Federal Posts

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2016 9:03 PM

After President-elect Donald Trump added new leaders for two key federal posts, the path of health care programs could be a step closer to course reversal.

Trump named Republican Tom Price, R-Ga. as his pick to lead HHS. Additionally, Trump declared Seema Verma to lead CMS.

Price has been “a vocal advocate of repealing the Affordable Care Act” (ACA) since the law’s inception, says Michael Strazzella, practice group leader and senior principal, federal government relations, with Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, Washington, D.C.

With his nomination as HHS head, “he’s been given a clear directive” to move forward with repeal, Strazzella adds.

In the past, Price also has been in favor of privatizing Medicare, says Daphne K. Saneholtz, attorney with Brennan, Manna and Diamond in Columbus, Ohio. “All this tells me that he will move HHS in a direction completely opposite of where it’s been going under the Obama administration,” Saneholtz says.

Price introduced the Empowering Patients First Act into the House of Representatives back in May 2016.

The fate of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) also remains uncertain. “We know that Rep. Price is not a fan [of CMMI],” Strazzella says.

On September 29, more than 170 GOP members of the House co-signed a letter to CMS written by Price, who criticized criticizing CMMI for Medicare demonstrations.
Moreover, Verma has worked on health care in Indiana. Under the Indiana Medicaid expansion, she engineered a program centered around high-deductible plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).

“Price and Verma are probably really going to shake things up,” Saneholtz projects.

For the full article, please see the December 19, 2016 Home Health Line Edition.

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