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Presidential Transition Brief
– President-elect Donald Trump will name his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior White House advisor.
– Confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s nominees for Cabinet positions begin today. Politico has created an annotated schedule of the hearings.
ACA repeal could cost millions of jobs
A report from the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University finds a quick roll back of the Medicaid expansion and premium subsidies implemented under the Affordable Care Act could cost the U.S. 3 million jobs. Eliminating these provisions would significantly affect providers including hospitals, physicians and clinics as well and insurers and could lead to a decrease in overall consuming spending and widespread economic effects, according to Jackie Wattles of CNN.
Swift efforts to repeal ACA draws cautious response from health industry
Advocacy groups representing different industry interests are weighing in carefully on Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with most organizations urging lawmakers proceed cautiously. Congressional Republicans’ swift efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have posed a challenge for industry lobbyists, writes Robert Pear of The New York Times. Pear notes many in Washington were anticipating a Clinton victory, and with it only modest adjustments to the ACA.
GOP senators push for more time on ACA repeal
Five Senate Republicans have introduced an amendment extending the deadline for finalizing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The amendment would move the deadline from January 27 to March 3. Jennifer Haberkorn of Politico shares Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced the amendment to provide lawmakers more time to explore the impact of repealing the law. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are also sponsors of the amendment.
GOP governors urge Republican Congress to preserve Medicaid expansion
Governors Rick Snyder (R-MI) and John Kasich (R-OH) are encouraging Republicans in Congress to retain the Medicaid expansions rolled out under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The governors argue the expansion has helped curb state costs and point out more than a million Americans in Ohio and Michigan have gained health care coverage through Medicaid. Russell Berman of The Atlantic reports.
McConnell calls on Democrats to confirm Price and help draft ACA replacement
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing Democrats to aid in the creation of a new health care law to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). McConnell asserts the first step toward a bipartisan solution is a quick confirmation for Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), writes Mallory Shellbourne of The Hill. Democrats have criticized Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, arguing the GOP’s strategy of repealing the law and replacing it later undermines the health care market by creating uncertainty.
Innovative Medicaid database provides opportunity to build more effective program
Cloud-computing start-up Nuna is helping the Medicaid program create a flexible digital database containing data on the 74 million Americans served by the program. Steve Lohr of The New York Times explains optimizing the data across state programs allows Medicaid to create a more efficient program and has the potential to inform future program spending.
UnitedHealth Group announces purchases of Surgical Care Affiliates
UnitedHealth Group plans to purchase Surgical Care Affiliates for $2.3 billion. Analysts see the move as shoring up UnitedHealth Group’s ambulatory care platform consistent with their strategy of operating with health systems, physicians and plans across the health care industry. In addition to traditional surgical facilities, Surgical Care Affiliates operates ambulatory surgical centers. Ankur Banerjee of Reuters reports.