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Presidential Transition Brief
– Reports indicate President-elect Donald Trump has selected David Shulkin for Secretary of Veteran Affairs (VA). Shulkin was previously nominated as Undersecretary of Health for the VA by President Barack Obama.
Kaiser Permanente CEO: replacement should accompany repeal
In remarks to the JPMorgan Healthcare Investor Conference, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson stated his support for passing replacement legislation for the Affordable Care Act at the same time as repeal. Tyson asserts “if the reality is this bill will be repealed, our position is at the same time… it must be replaced.” Page Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Examiner has the story.
Republicans showing division over ACA repeal plan
A growing number of Republican senators are uneasy with GOP leadership plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement. The Associated Press notes four Republican senators have introduced legislation to delay the target date for repeal, and Chairman of the Senate Health Committee Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has stated he would prefer repeal and replacement legislation passed at the same time.
President-elect Donald Trump is also urging Congressional Republicans to prepare replacement legislation. Maggie Haberman and Robert Pear of The New York Times report Trump has urged Republican legislators to immediately repeal the ACA and pass replacement legislation soon thereafter. Republicans have not coalesced around a replacement plan.
House Republican leader promises to protect coverage
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) promises Americans who have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will not lose coverage under a Republican plan. Eli Yokley of Morning Consult writes McMorris Rodgers’ pledge breaks with previous statement from leading Republicans, who have been less direct when discussing maintaining existing coverage levels. McMorris Rodgers also guarantees popular provisions protecting Americans with preexisting conditions and allowing people under 26 to stay on their parents’ plans will not be repealed.
Number of Americans paying coverage tax penalty drops
The number of Americans paying the tax penalty for not having insurance fell by 20 percent in 2015. About 85 percent of Americans have indicated they had qualifying health plans, according to a preliminary look at the 2015 data. Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News provides a recap of the 2015 numbers.
HHS data shows increase in ACA enrollment
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released data showing more than 11.5 million Americans had signed up for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan as of December 24, a 300,000 person increase from 2015. The increase in enrollment comes as Republicans push to repeal the ACA, according to Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today.
House Democrats push for investigation into Price’s trading
Representative Louse Slaughter (D-NY), ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, is calling on the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to investigate Rep. Tom Price’s (R-GA) stock trading while in office. Price, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, has come under fire for trading stocks in medical companies while proposing legislation affecting the health care industry. Slaughter’s request joins existing Democratic calls for investigation into the matter by the Office of Congressional Ethics, reports Sylvan Lane.
Enrollment in the ACA marketplace, by congressional district
The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an interactive map highlighting enrollment in Affordable Care Act ACA) by congressional district. The tool allows viewers to pull the estimated number of marketplace enrollees for every district in the country. Kaiser Family Foundation also published two maps exploring enrollment in Medicaid.
“As a new health care approach takes shape, it is important to remember that things were far from perfect before Obamacare. Repeal alone will not fix our health care system. And there should be an adequate transition between the current system and a new plan.”
–Prepared remarks for the US Chamber of Commerce “State of American Business” by Thomas Donahue, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce, as reported by Politico Pro.