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HHS Secretary selection indicates the ‘seriousness of repealing the ACA’
By Kathryn Mayer
From Employee Benefit News on Saturday, December 3, 2016
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The new health reform conversation has to involve more than just access to healthcare; it must include a discussion about how to address healthcare costs, adds Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “If this is just a refocus on access — which is what the ACA primarily was — if it’s not going to delivery system transformation and value-based care, that’s a concern.”

“I think [Price’s appointment] shows a seriousness [about] at least repealing key parts of the ACA. No. 1 on the list to go first I think is the Cadillac tax,” Marcotte says. “I also think the employer and individual mandates would also be on the docket, as well as the federal subsidies. There’s a lot that’s unclear [about] how that would be done, but there is a seriousness here with [Trump] appointing Price.”

“It’s wait-and-see because until you see the devil in the details, it’s hard to react to anything other than the high-level banter about replacing and repealing,” Marcotte adds.

Price’s selection, Marcotte says, “likely means that Medicare payment reforms will get a second look and may advance a little more slowly. And I think that concerns us a little. We would hope that HHS would continue to transform Medicare away from fee for service, which drives unnecessary care and spending, toward paying for value. And we’d like to keep our foot on the gas when it comes to transforming the delivery system and not lose momentum there. That’s the one bit of uncertainty.”