Trump Picks Obamacare Critic to Lead Health Care Overhaul

Georgia surgeon is new HHS secretary

President-elect Donald Trump has named a staunch opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and a policy consultant to help him overhaul the health care system that Republicans have targeted since Democrats enacted sweeping reforms in 2010, according to a Reuters report. Republican Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, will be Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, and consultant Seema Verma will lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In a statement, Trump called Price “exceptionally qualified” to help replace the PPACA. Price said there was much work to be done “to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer denounced the choice, describing Price as being “far out of the mainstream” in his stance on government efforts, such as the PPACA, Medicare, and Planned Parenthood.

Passage of the PPACA in 2010 triggered a long and bitter fight between the White House and congressional Republicans, who said it created unwarranted government intervention in personal health care and private industry.

Trump has promised to replace the act with a plan that gives states more control over Medicaid and that allows insurers to sell plans nationally.

Price, an early Trump supporter in the U.S. House of Representatives, leads the budget committee and has long championed a plan of tax credits, expanded health savings accounts, and lawsuit reforms to replace the PPACA.

Source: Reuters; November 29, 2016.