Top Trump advisor may have Obamacare conflict of interest

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a key member of the president-elect’s transition team, may have a conflict of interest centered around the controversial healthcare legislation

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor may have a $2.7 billion conflict of interest centered around Obamacare, according to a Huffington Post report.

The potential conflict of interest centers around a policy proposal written by Mario Schlosser and Josh Kushner, the founders of healthcare startup Oscar, which sells insurance on the state exchanges created under Obamacare. Schlosser and Kushner want more competition in the insurance industry, and they believe that allowing people to buy insurance with pre-tax dollars would spur that competition, HuffPo reported.

The potential for a conflict of interest comes with the fact that Kushner is the brother of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and key member of the president-elect’s transition team. Kushner could also potentially take a senior job in the White House. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, also a transition team member, is also an investor in Oscar, according to HuffPo.

During his campaign, Trump promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better. And any changes made to Obamacare in a Republican administration would likely benefit insurance companies, HuffPo reported.

“That would create the potential for a conflict of interest ― or in the very least, the appearance of one ―  if Oscar were a run-of-the-mill health insurance company,” wrote HuffPo business reporter Ben Walsh. “But the potential is amplified due to the fact that Oscar was started for the express purpose of making money on the state exchanges for individual insurance.”

If Jared Jushner accepts a White House position, “there might be some question of whether it is appropriate to weigh in on decisions that have an enormous impact on (his) brother’s assets,” University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter told Huffpo.


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