Trump Says ACA Repeal and Replace Could Come Within Same Hour

President-elect Donald Trump said he will put forth a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after his nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services is confirmed and in office.

That plan will cover both how to repeal the 2010 health care law and how to replace it, and said both steps could happen in the same hour, Trump said. It’s “complicated stuff,” he said at a Wednesday press conference at Trump Tower.

“It’ll be repeal and replace,” Trump said. “It will be essentially simultaneously.”

He did not elaborate on what the replacement will be, but said it would result in health care that is “far less expensive and far better.”

That won’t come until Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is confirmed by the Senate and in office, he said. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee announced Wednesday they will hold a hearing on Price’s nomination on Jan. 18, but the Finance Committee, which will actually vote Price’s nomination out of committee, has not yet set a date for a hearing.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on the Hill are moving ahead with plans to repeal the ACA, but have not put forward a detailed plan for how they will replace it. Both the House and Senate are expcted to vote this week on a budget resolution that would instruct congressional committees to begin drafting reconciliation legislation to repeal the law.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said this week the goal would be for Obamacare repeal and replacement to occur “concurrently.”

Briefings

Health Brief: GOP Senators Ask CBO to Fast-Track ACA Overhaul Review

Senate Republican leaders have asked the Congressional Budget Office to fast-track consideration of a plan from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. The CBO is reportedly in the process of analyzing the cost and coverage impact of the plan, as Republicans face pressure to make one last attempt at undoing the ACA before GOP senators’ ability to pass legislation with a simple majority expires on Sept. 30.

Health Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) hopes to reach a deal with Democrats on a plan to shore up the ACA exchanges early this week. A final agreement, if reached, is likely to extend key insurer payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, and include reforms to make it easier for states to establish reinsurance programs. Some Republicans are also pushing to give states more flexibility over required benefits in Obamacare plans, a proposal that is controversial with Democrats.

Health Brief: Some Moderate House Democrats Seek ACA Stabilization

While progressives this week rallied behind Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) single-payer health care bill, a group of moderate House Democrats in the New Democrat Coalition aligned themselves with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s bipartisan push to stabilize the Affordable Care Act exchanges, which Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) aims to reach a final deal on by early next week.

Health Brief: Deal Reached to Extend CHIP Funding

Senate Finance Committee leaders reached a deal on a five-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, in a win for children’s health advocates who are seeking longer-term funding certainty for the program, which will expire at the end of the month without congressional action. The deal also gradually phases out the enhanced federal share of funding for state CHIP programs, which was increased under the Affordable Care Act by 23 percentage points.

Health Brief: Some Navigators Shut Down Ahead of ACA Enrollment Period

Several navigator organizations, including one that received the largest federal grant for Obamacare enrollment activities in 2016, are suspending operations ahead of the 2018 open enrollment season because they haven’t received contracts for funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, which could cause enrollment to plummet. The Trump administration announced plans last month to cut funding for navigator groups by about 40 percent, but health officials haven’t said whether the grants would end altogether.

Health Brief: Teva Names New CEO

H. Lundbeck A/S’s Kaare Schultz was named as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s new chief executive officer, ending a seven-month search by the world’s largest generic drug maker to find a new leader. Schultz could face pressure to split the company into two businesses, one focusing on patented specialty drugs and the other on cheap copycat medicines

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