While Congress tussles over Obamacare, the Trump administration is quietly pressing ahead with plans to gut major Obama-era rules and relax federal oversight of swaths of the health care industry.
Top health officials have already signaled their intention to end mandatory programs making hospitals more accountable for their patients’ health, slowed the transition to a system that pays doctors based on quality rather than quantity, and indicated they will reverse a high-profile rule blocking nursing homes from forcing residents to sign away their right to sue.
The sheer scale of the effort has surprised and thrilled health care lobbyists, some of whom described feeling inundated by Health and Human Services leadership’s appeals for recommendations on any and all federal rules they would like to see trimmed.
“We have been shooting for the moon, just bringing up every possible issue we think they have the ability to change,” said Vinita Ollapally, manager of regulatory affairs for the American College of Surgeons. “This is the first time that any administration has seemed to be so focused on regulatory relief.”
Once envisioned as a companion to the GOP’s now-stalled effort to repeal Obamacare, the regulatory rollback has fast become the Trump administration’s chief weapon against former President Barack Obama’s health care legacy — and sets the stage for an industry-friendly reshaping of the health care system...