Friday Five - March 31, 2017

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March 31, 2017

This week in our Friday Five series, MAXIMUS is sharing what Jared Kushner looks to bring to the new White House Office of American Innovation; how Republicans can “quietly” enact health care reform at the state level using waivers; and, details on the administration’s new commission on opioid addiction. 

1. Kushner to Lead ‘American Innovation’ Office at White House

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, has been tapped to lead the new White House Office of American Innovation, bringing more of a private-sector mentality to the federal government. The office will aim to “reshape” the government by making it leaner, more effective and running it “like a great American company,” in Kushner’s own words. CNN details what’s behind this move and how Kushner will look to innovate.

2. Next for Medicaid Overhaul: Cost Sharing, Work Requirements

As the debate over health care takes a pause, changes to Medicaid are likely to be driven at the state level. With Seema Verma as CMS Administrator and Brian Neale, Vice President Mike Pence’s former health care policy director, likely the next head of Medicaid and CHIP, Medicaid programs could begin to emulate Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, or “HIP 2.0.” Bloomberg BNA explores how HIP 2.0 could shape the future of Medicaid.

3. Trump Vows Deal on Health Care, House GOP Says Let’s Try

After the American Health Care Act – the bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare – was pulled from the House of Representatives floor last Friday, President Trump and GOP members have promised to deliver on health care reform. “I know that we're all going to make a deal on health care… we've all been promising that to the American people, so I think a lot of good things are going to happen," said President Trump. NBC News outlines how Republicans could make another attempt at new health care legislation.

4. Waivers Represent a Quieter Way for Republicans to Change Health Care

The Republicans’ health care bill may have failed to pass, but that does not mean their efforts to transform the ACA are dead. Using state-level waivers, policymakers can enact health care reform without generating large amounts of press and public scrutiny. As STAT News explains, Sections 1332 and 1115 waivers in particular – that let states waive provisions of the ACA and waive parts of federal Medicaid law, respectively – could be one route for the administration to advance state health reform.

5. Trump Administration Creates Commission to Tackle Opioid Crisis

President Trump recently hosted a listening session at the White House and launched a commission on opioid addiction as a first step in addressing the “total epidemic.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will serve as the head of the commission, with support from Cabinet secretaries, state governments, law enforcement and other groups. Voice of America reports on the listening session and how the administration will look to curb the addiction crisis.