Donald Trump is on track to enter the White House as a man who has no experience with shaping health policy in Washington but has plenty of experience with buying, paying for and fuming at the cost of health benefits.
Here’s a look at five people Trump has been using, or could use, to get ideas about how to handle the Affordable Care Act repeal effort and other health policy efforts.
1. Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Ben Carson, Trump’s most visible health policy advisor so far, is a former Republican presidential contender and the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Carson made a universal health savings account program the focus of his proposal for replacing the Affordable Care Act.
See also: 4 PPACA individual mandate alternatives
During a victory speech early Wednesday morning, Trump singled Carson out for praise, and some have said he could be Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.
One virtue Carson could bring to HHS would be replacements from John Hopkins for the Democratic-leaning policy research centers that a Trump administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services might be leery of working with.
2. Mike Leavitt
Mike Leavitt, a former Utah governor who served as HHS secretary from 2005 through 2009, under President George W. Bush, began serving as a Trump transition advisor in May.
In September, while participating in a health policy discussion organized by the Nashville Health Care Council, he emphasized that the next president should do more to build a strong personal relationship with members of Congress, possibly by eating breakfast with lawmakers.
3. Steve Mnuchin
Steve Mnuchin, an investment banker who’s said to be a top Trump transition team pick for Treasury secretary, is also a life trustee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the UCLA Health System Board.
Through Mnuchin’s participation on hospital and health care system boards, he has probably gained a solid understanding of hospitals’ provider contracting concerns.
He also helped finance the movies “Gravity” and “Life of Pi.”
4. Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes, the chairman of Forbes Media, made a point in July of going on CNN to call Trump “absolutely unique” and saying he would vote for Trump.
In addition to being a strong supporter of Trump, Forbes was a strong supporter of the health savings account concept years before the modern health savings account program existed.
5. Adam Hamm
One possible dark horse candidate for a role as Trump administration health policy player could be Adam Hamm, the outgoing North Dakota insurance commissioner.
Hamm, a Republican, announced plans to give up the post voluntarily, without discussing his plans for the future.
He has had experience with overseeing HealthCare.gov state ACA programs in North Dakota, and he has been active at the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC appointed him in 2014 to serve a two-year term as the state insurance commissioner representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
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