Health secretary and aide: ‘You need to have a really strong voice’
- by admin
Health secretary Andy Slavitt and aide Amber DeParle will be among a handful of senior White House officials who are expected to take the lead in shaping the rollout of President Trump’s health-care law.
They will take over the reins from Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, who resigned Friday amid the fallout from a scathing report that faulted his administration for its failure to implement the law.
The move will allow Slavitt, who served under Price from October through January, to serve alongside his successor as health and human services secretary, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), as the administration’s first female health-policy adviser.
While the roles are not expected to be filled immediately, the White House confirmed the appointment of Slavitt to replace Price and DeParles to oversee the rollout.
“We are excited to have an experienced and well-qualified leader who has an incredible track record of success in delivering quality health care to Americans, and we are confident that this team can and will deliver on that vision,” Price said in a statement.
“It’s time to get health care back on the road to health and wellbeing for all Americans, starting with this administration.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a report by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which alleged that Slavitt has failed to implement a comprehensive overhaul of the law, despite receiving substantial support from Republicans and congressional Democrats.
The report said that Price had failed to take action to create a regulatory framework to implement reforms that would help Americans who had lost coverage.
The conservative group also said that Slavits administration has failed in its efforts to implement more affordable and quality health coverage, including in Medicaid.
The Heritage report comes after several recent health-reform reports and congressional investigations, and after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the law would cost between $1.1 trillion and $2.3 trillion over the next decade.
“While we have been clear in our policy prescriptions that we are going to get to a level of coverage that is sustainable, affordable, and provides for access to health care, we have made significant progress,” Price told reporters Friday.
The new health-aid czar is expected to work closely with Price to create more efficient regulations and to work with the White, Senate and House committees that will be charged with reviewing the health-insurance law and ensuring it remains on track for its goals.
The Office of Personnel Management said that it has assigned Slavitt as acting assistant secretary for public affairs, and the White Houses Office of Management and Budget confirmed that DeParlets position has also been elevated.
The White House also said the Office of the Federal Register will be responsible for determining the next director of OPM, a decision that was made before the health care bill was passed.
Health secretary Andy Slavitt and aide Amber DeParle will be among a handful of senior White House officials who are…