When I asked Republicans who currently has former President Trump’s ear on health policy, some of them literally laughed — he isn’t exactly focused on health care right now.
Yes, but: As Trump gets ready for his “very big” announcement tonight, there’s an entire think tank of people who are primed to have his ear on a host of issues, including health care if and when its time comes.
- And there’s a larger universe of conservative or right-of-center policy people jockeying for influence over the party’s future health ambitions.
Where it stands: A bunch of former Trump administration officials or Trump allies have landed at the America First Policy Institute, and some sources said its generally best primed to advise the former president on policy issues.
- Its health care team is led by former Gov. Bobby Jindal as well as Heidi Overton, who was a White House fellow at the Domestic Policy Council under Trump.
- Trump himself gave a speech at the think tank this summer, touching on drugs, addiction and transgender athletes.
The big picture: Other Trump alums are trying to have a broader influence on health policy without being attached to a candidate.
- Joe Grogan, director of the DPC under Trump, described himself as currently candidate-agnostic, but working on conservative health policies that could eventually be adopted by anyone.
- “Right now our approach is just to develop health care reforms that are consistent with free market principles, and I don’t care who adopts them,” said Brian Blase, who served on Trump’s National Economic Council and is now president of the Paragon Health Institute.
- “I think we’re trying to address a void in the free market community to develop innovative health reforms.”