POLITICO's Pulse Check

Peter Orszag and news roundup

Episode Summary

He helped craft the Affordable Care Act. Now he assembles health care mega-mergers on Wall Street. Peter Orszag on his career, in his own words.

Episode Notes

"What we were trying to do at the time was change the mindset of the executives running these large organizations. And I, for one, think we succeeded far beyond my wildest imagination, in putting enough things into the Affordable Care Act that the people out in the field said, 'Whoa, the world is changing and we’ve got to respond to it.'"

Peter Orszag is one of the intellectual godfathers of the Affordable Care Act, serving as President Barack Obama's top budget official during the health care fight. Now he's helping put together the health care giants of the future, advising on mega-deals like CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts as a top investment banker at Lazard.

Peter sat down with POLITICO's Dan Diamond to walk through his experience in the Obama White House, what he's learned on Wall Street and how he sees health care moving forward. (Starts at the 7:10 mark.)

But first, Dan runs through some of the big stories from the week, including the Trump administration's plan to require that drug companies post prices in ads and the choice of Mary Mayhew to serve as director of Medicaid.


HHS Secretary Alex Azar's speech announcing new requirements for drug companies to post their prices.

PhRMA's pre-emptive move to announce they'll voluntarily disclosure about costs.

POLITICO's Sarah Karlin-Smith recaps the dueling moves on pharma prices.

The Trump administration chose Mary Mayhew to serve as director of Medicaid.

Mayhew's January 2017 letter to then-HHS Secretary nominee Tom Price on her Medicaid wish-list for Maine.

Peter Orszag's July 2013 defense of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

Vanderbilt's Melinda Buntin talked to POLITICO about Medicare's spending slowdown.

James Fallows' criticism of Orszag's move from the White House to Wall Street.

Sign up for Dan's special newsletter from the Milken Institute's "Future of Health" summit next week.