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November 15, 2016

Here's who is reportedly advising Donald Trump on health care

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    Andrew Bremberg has been selected to lead Trump's HHS transition team, Modern Healthcare reports.

    Bremberg worked at HHS under George W. Bush's administration as special assistant to the executive secretary from 2001 to 2005, and as special assistant to the Immediate Office of the Secretary from 2005 to 2007. Bremberg also served as an adviser to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) during his presidential bid this year and as part of the transition team for 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Bremberg currently advises Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

    Trump says he's open to just 'amending' the ACA

    Bremberg is expected to organize the workflow, policy, and personnel for Trump's HHS transition team. Trump is reportedly considering several candidates to take over as HHS secretary under his administration, including:

    • Former New Jersey state senator Rich Bagger (R), who used to work as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry and currently serves as the executive director of Trump's overall transition team;
    • Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who sought the Republican presidential nomination before voicing his support for Trump;
    • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who was involved in health reform efforts during his time in Congress and later launched the Center for Health Transformation;
    • Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) who previously served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and as an adviser to the HHS secretary under former President George W. Bush's administration, and also ran against Trump during the primaries; and
    • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation (which later merged with HCA) and Conservatives for Patient's Rights.

    Trump's overall transition team, chaired by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, is working to have Trump's cabinet nominated and approved within two weeks of the president-elect's inauguration.

    Trump reportedly picks other health care policy advisers

    In related news, Trump has reportedly selected Paula Stannard to advise him on health care, Modern Healthcare reports.

    Who's on Trump's HHS secretary short list? Here's what we know so far.

    Stannard previously served as acting general counsel at HHS, where she oversaw HHS' Office of the General Counsel's civil rights, food and drug, and legislation divisions. Stannard also advised former HHS Secretaries Tommy Thompson and Michael Leavitt, who both served under former President George W. Bush.

    According to Modern Healthcare, other individuals rumored to be advising Trump on health care policy include:

    • Carlos Diaz-Rosillo, a lecturer at Harvard University who reportedly will advise Trump on the changes that can be made via executive order; and
    • Ado Machida, a former corporate lobbyist and domestic policy aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who reportedly will advise Trump on domestic policy.


    Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former associate commissioner at FDA, said Bremberg and Stannard "bring a basic philosophy that we can advance our health care system by making sure that the patient is at the center of every single reform and that reforms are actionable—and result in less government intrusion."

    Steven Eastaugh, a former adviser to President Obama who helped draft the Affordable Care Act (ACA), said, "If there is going to be a retrenchment of the ACA, there would hopefully be minimal losses to access to care, and (Bremberg and Stannard) do care about things like access" (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 11/11; Morse, Healthcare Finance, 11/11; Leventhal, Healthcare Informatics, 11/11).

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