Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are distancing themselves from the idea, each emphasizing that they were not consulted by the White House before the president’s announcement, said three officials familiar with their thinking. Still, Verma has been involved in the plan’s development, officials said.
The cards — and letters telling people they will be arriving — cannot be issued unless a plan is approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Health officials say OMB has been reviewing drafts, but a senior administration official declined to confirm that, saying only that a plan is at HHS.
Outside the administration, Trump’s intended drug debit cards are drawing criticism from the pharmaceutical industry, budget and health policy experts of both political parties, and even a conservative publication.
A trio of senior House and Senate Democrats is