Tom Price Confirmed as Health Secretary

Senate vote follows party lines

The Senate has voted along party lines––52 to 47––to approve the nomination of Representative Tom Price (R-Georgia) to be secretary of health and human services, putting him in charge of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to The New York Times.

Democrats denounced Price’s intention to rein in the growth of Medicare and Medicaid by making fundamental changes to the programs. They also criticized him for actively trading shares of medical and pharmaceutical companies while shaping health policy in Congress. Price responded to the charge by stating that everything he did was “ethical, above-board, legal, and transparent.”

He will be the first physician to lead the Department of Health and Human Services since Dr. Louis W. Sullivan stepped down in January 1993.

Price has been at the forefront of efforts to scrap the PPACA and has proposed a replacement plan that would roll back federal insurance standards and give states more authority.

“You could say his chief qualification for the job of replacing Obamacare is he had the good sense to oppose it in the first place,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas).

In a 2009 article, Price stated: “Nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.”

He has endorsed the idea of giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant to provide health care to low-income people on the program.

Source: The New York Times; February 10, 2017.