The administration could take steps to reverse Trump administration policies that reduced funding for the HealthCare.gov advertising budget and the navigator program that helps people sign up for insurance coverage; expanded health plans that don’t comply with the 2010 health care law, including short-term plans; and added Medicaid work requirements for some states.
The Biden administration also will “want to make sure they are not just having a defensive agenda but also thinking about how to advance their policy goals,” said Allison Orris, a partner at the legal and consulting firm Manatt Health.
The administration could try to inch toward accomplishing campaign promises like expanding health care coverage or allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices through regulatory actions or state waivers, but officials may first see how Congress approaches those debates, said former Senate Finance Committee staffer Matt Kazan, an Avalere Health principal.
Role for Innovation Center
Officials could try to approach some goals under the sweeping authority housed within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, known as CMMI or the Innovation Center. The office was created under the 2010 health care law to test payment demonstrations under the two federal programs, with the goal of improving cost and quality of care.
“Because Georgia went the way it went, we probably are going to see more legislative stuff on health care, whether it’s ACA or coverage reform, and potential pay-fors for that are drug pricing issues,” Kazan said, referring to two Senate Democratic seats won in Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia. “A question for [the] Biden administration on CMMI is how does a controversial CMMI model being proposed interact with some of those Hill negotiations that may be going on.”