Politico, February 6, 2017
Adam Cancryn


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Tom Price spent years railing against Obamacare. Now he’ll finally have sweeping power to do something about it.

The Georgia Republican congressman is on the verge of becoming the Trump administration’s top health care official, armed with broad authority to begin unwinding Obamacare by using as much executive power as possible, even as Congress struggles to find consensus on a plan to repeal and replace the health care law. First, he could ax Obamacare's mandate ensuring coverage for contraception and give insurers more latitude to determine which health benefits they will — and won’t — pay for. Those changes will likely be paired with stricter monitoring of Obamacare enrollees, as the administration aims to win over jittery health plan executives with policies that prioritize insurance market predictability and profitability.

If he really wants to test the limits of executive authority, he could stop enforcing the individual mandate that Americans buy health insurance — a foundation of the law.

While the goal is to use the existing powers given to the Health and Human Services secretary to lower costs and loosen oversight of health insurers, hospitals and doctors, Price has promised to try to calm an anxious health industry. [...]

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