New Administration signals significant policy shifts

Originally published in the January 25, 2017 issue of MGMA’s Washington Connection
Reprinted with permission from MGMA

On his first day in office, President Trump signed an executive order reaffirming his goal to “seek the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order compels federal agencies to take all actions consistent with law to minimize the economic and regulatory burdens of the ACA. The majority of relevant regulations that can be changed through rule-making, including minimum essential benefits requirements and the authority to institute waivers for insurance mandates, are governed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Accordingly, the magnitude of the order’s practical impact will be largely contingent on the future actions of Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-GA) and Seema Verma, MPH, the nominees for Secretary of HHS and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), respectively. Both nominations will be considered for confirmation in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, the House and Senate took the first step towards ACA repeal and replacement by passing a budget resolution instructing relevant congressional committees to develop legislation that would repeal critical budgetary elements of the ACA through an expedited process known as reconciliation. Details on the expected timeline and key elements of the replacement legislation remain unclear.

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