Sebelius Disputes Gruber’s Role In ACA’s Development
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she never met with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and downplayed the importance of his controversial comments. Meanwhile, the HHS Inspector General talks about his experiences monitoring an agency that accounted for about $1 trillion in federal spending this year.
Kathleen Sebelius: Jonathan Gruber? Who?
Former Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, disputing the description of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber as an architect of the Affordable Care Act, says she had never met with him and minimized the significance of his controversial comments describing passage of the law. Gruber, a prominent health economist and federal consultant, is scheduled to testify before a House committee next week about his remarks that the 2010 law deliberately was drafted "in a tortured way" to obscure the reality that it created a system in which "healthy people pay in and sick people get money." (Page, 12/2)
The Washington Post:
Watchdog’s View: HHS Inspector General Talks Healthcare.gov, Ebola, Obamacare
Daniel Levinson has served as inspector general of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department since 2005, working for two presidents, monitoring two of the largest Medicare expansions in U.S. history and keeping watch of an organization that accounted for about $1 trillion in federal spending this year. (Hicks, 12/2)
Also in the news, UnitedHealth Group's chief executive talks about how the health law will continue to impact the health care marketplace -
UnitedHealth CEO Expects 2016 Growth As Reform Law Effects Wane
UnitedHealth Group Inc. Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley said on Tuesday that as the effects of the national healthcare reform law diminish in 2016, the health insurer expects its pace of growth to be above 2015 and to accelerate from there. In 2014, lower payments to insurers for Medicare Advantage plans and new taxes that insurers must pay under the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, cut into after-tax operating profit by $400 million, UnitedHealth said. That figure takes into account some offset from the positive effects of Medicaid expansion, it said. In 2013, the effects of the ACA cost the company $1 billion. (12/2)