Trump’s Health Policy, Legislative Team Taking Shape

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By Alex Ruoff

Nov. 14 — President-elect Donald Trump has tapped two former HHS officials and influential Republican advisers with leading the health policy section of his transition team, according to lobbyists.

The former policy director for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) presidential campaign, Andrew Bremberg, and Paula Stannard, a former deputy general counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, will lead the Trump transition team on health issues. Bremberg served in the Office of Public Health and Science in the HHS under George W. Bush and was a policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Dennis Smith, a former head of Medicaid for the HHS, is also said to be advising the health team. Smith is also a former senior fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Trump formally announced that Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), all members of House committees with jurisdiction over health issues, will be part of the transition team’s executive committee. They will advise Trump on hiring decisions and legislative issues, staffers from their offices told Bloomberg BNA.

Trump has vowed to move immediately to repeal the Affordable Care Act once he takes office. His transition team is largely staffed by people associated with Republican efforts to overturn the law, namely Bremberg, Blackburn, Collins and Nunes.

Blackburn serves as vice chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which led the House’s effort to repeal the ACA in recent years. Collins is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and was an early Trump supporter.

Nunes serves on the Ways and Means health subcommittee.

Blackburn will be advising Trump on his legislative strategy and hiring decisions, a spokeswoman from her office told Bloomberg BNA. Nunes has not been assigned a portfolio and will advise Trump on appointments to the incoming administration, a spokesman for his office told Bloomberg BNA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ruoff in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kendra Casey Plank at

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