Outgoing CMS admin embarks on Twitter tongue-lashing

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Taking a cue from the incoming president, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt is using Twitter to let the public know that while his tenure with the agency is ending, his defense of the Affordable Care Act isn't.

Slavitt, who has upped his Twitter usage and sent more than 3,200 Tweets since early December, told Kaiser Health News that he's become more enthusiastic about publicly defending the ACA in the midst of debates over its planned “repeal and replace.”

“The reason you're seeing a lot of things going viral is people are starting to realize what's at stake,” Slavitt said.

Among Slavitt's more passionate tweets are a sarcastic message regarding a possible deficit increase should the ACA be repealed, as well as an edit to his tagline that states “After Jan. 20, the mission is not over.”

That uptick in social media activity could be a trend, one expert told KHN, since “making emotional responses, rather than neutral, or even controversial ones will get you more attention.”

Slavitt acknowledged the similarities between his “Tweetsorms” and those written by President-elect Donald Trump, but was quick to point out one difference — his 16,4000 follower count falls short of the 19 million garnered by @realDonaldTrump.

On Friday CMS Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway, M.D., will take on the role of acting administrator, Slavitt reported in — what else — a Tweet sent on Thursday afternoon.