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Trump's landing team is rife with ACA opponents

Nina Owcharenko leads Heritage's Center for Health Policy studies; Scott Gottlieb is former FDA deputy commissioner.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Nina Owcharenko, leader of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy studies ( Owcharenko, leader of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy studies (

President-elect Donald Trump revealed the members appointed to his landing team on Thursday, including those assigned to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Among them is Nina Owcharenko, leader of Heritage's Center for Health Policy studies. Owcharenko has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, recommending to Congressional Republicans last week that they should use the budget reconciliation process to effectively repeal the health law, paving the way for a replacement that she said could take effect in 2018.

[Also: Consultant: Trump's choice for HSS, CMS leadership spells trouble for hospitals]

Another ACA foe named to the landing team is practicing physician Scott Gottlieb, once the Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs and a senior policy adviser at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He has stated that the health exchanges would likely stay, but otherwise has been a proponent for immediate ACA repeal.

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Eric Hargan rounds out Trump's HHS landing team members. Hargan was the agency's chief operating officer under President George W. Bush and is currently a healthcare lawyer with Greenberg Traurig.

Twitter: @JELagasse