HHS doctor publicly comes out against GOP's health care bill

Congressman: Replacement bill needs more time
Congressman: Replacement bill needs more time

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Story highlights

  • Ostrovsky said on Twitter Wednesday evening that he opposes the American Health Care Act
  • The career official has been at the Medicaid office since September

Washington (CNN)The chief medical officer of the federal government's Medicaid program publicly rebuked the Republican health care plan backed by his boss, President Donald Trump.

In a reminder of the unusual political coalition growing opposed to the new proposal, Health and Human Services Department official Andrey Ostrovsky, a career official, said Wednesday evening on Twitter that he opposes the American Health Care Act crafted by Republicans in Congress and supported by Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price.
"Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts from @aafp @AmerAcadPeds @AmerMedicalAssn in opposition to #AHCA," Ostrovsky tweeted.
    CNN has reached out to HHS for comment.
    The legislation is encountering significant headwinds on Capitol Hill from Democrats but also hardline conservatives who feel the bill does not do enough to repeal Obamacare. Price, a former congressman, has been one of the early public faces behind the effort.
    He expressed solidarity his tweet with a number of medical interest groups that have said they, too, oppose the bill.
    Much of the Freedom Caucus, the most anti-establishment element of the House Republican conference, has vowed to oppose the bill, as have a few Republican senators. A battery of traditionally aggressive Republican lobbies and fundraising groups, too, have said they will pressure Congress to more comprehensively repeal Obamacare.
    Meanwhile, the nation's leading hospital and doctor groups are lining up against the bill, saying they fear millions of Americans will lose coverage. Influential industry organizations, which helped pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010, are particularly worried about the bill's potential impact on lower-income and vulnerable Americans. These folks have been helped by the law's expansion of Medicaid and its subsides that are more generous for those lower on the income ladder.
    Ostrovsky, a doctor, has been at the Medicaid office since September. The new bill would eliminate the enhanced federal match for Medicaid expansion starting in 2020 and revamp the funding for the entire program.
    Several administration officials who have criticized Trump or his administration's policies have faced consequences for doing so.
    Soon after he took office, Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama administration holdover, after she told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump's original executive order on immigration and refugees.
    Last month, a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shermichael Singleton, also was fired over an op-ed he wrote during the campaign that was critical of Trump, a source told CNN.
    And when Craig Deare, a senior National Security Council adviser, criticized the Trump administration's Latin American policies last month, he was reassigned to his old job at the National Defense University.
    "I don't think that any person that is there in order to carry out the President's agenda should be against the President's agenda," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at the time. "It seems pretty silly that you would have someone who is not supportive of what you are trying to accomplish there to carry out that very thing."