President Trump and congressional Republicans left last week’s planning meeting in Philadelphia still divided over the timing and substance of how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The effort continues this week in Washington as congressional committees hold a spate of hearings and work on writing legislation.
House panels will examine problems within the Medicaid program, replacement options that focus on patient-centered solutions, and proposals to shore up the individual market. A Senate committee will also seek options for stabilizing the individual market and look at ways to allow states to pursue their own health care reforms.
Despite President Trump’s recent orders to ease ACA compliance burdens and freeze regulatory activity, the administration’s ability to implement policy and advise Congress is currently hobbled by the wait for Senate confirmation of leadership posts at the Department of Health and Human Services. The Senate Finance Committee is set to vote this week, however, on the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as HHS secretary. The panel has yet to schedule a hearing on the selection of Seema Verma as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.