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Trump's Health Chief Asks for Affordable Care Act Repair Ideas

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The top Trump administration health insurance program manager is asking the public for ideas about how to shore up the current Affordable Care Act system.

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has put out a request for information for about ways to reduce the regulatory burdens imposed by the ACA, and to improve how the ACA system works.

(Related: Brokers May Run 2018 Group Enrollment)

The proposal is set to appear Monday in the Federal Register, an official government publication. Comments will be due in mid-July, or 30 days after the official Federal Register publication date.

In the request for information, CMS asks for suggestions about ways to:

  • Give consumers more health coverage and health care choices, and help them understand their choices better.

  • Stabilize the individual, small-group and nontraditional health insurance markets.

  • Make coverage more affordable.

  • Affirm states’ traditional authority over the regulation of the business of health insurance.

The notice appears to focus solely on Affordable Care Act provisions that directly affect health coverage, not, for example, on the provisions in the law that deal with efforts to prevent flu epidemics or train doctors to treat older patients.

CMS lists Vanessa Jones as a contact person.

CMS is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS is also the parent of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. The oversight center is the CMS unit directly responsible for running the Affordable Care Act programs that affect the commercial health insurance market. 

Verma says in a statement about the request for information that CMS hopes to use the answers to change existing regulations.

“Through this step, CMS is asking consumers to send us innovative ideas that will help stabilize and strengthen the individual and small-group health insurance markets,” Verma says.

The Trump administration is supporting efforts by Republicans in Congress to replace the current Affordable Care Act subsidy programs, eliminate the ACA individual and employer mandate provisions, and eliminate ACA taxes.

Republicans had a hard time getting an ACA change bill, H.R. 1628, through the House. Senate Republicans are now trying to get H.R. 1628 or another major ACA change bill through the Senate.

— Read Actuary Sizes Up 2018 Individual Health Picture on ThinkAdvisor.


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