Price Nears Senate Confirmation As President Trump's Health Secretary

The Senate approved early Friday Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as the new health secretary.

Pence, a pal of Price's from their days together in the House, said Price "is uniquely qualified to step into this leading role during this time of reform in the life of health care in America".

Once Price takes office, he will also be expected to follow through on an executive order issued by Trump on the first day of his administration that would ask federal agencies to pare back regulatory elements of the Affordable Care Act in certain ways that would not require congressional action.

Price's nomination has been among Trump's most controversial, in part because of his hostility to government safety net programs, including Medicaid and Medicare.

In a statement, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who voted in favor of Price's confirmation, said, "As the former chairman of the House Budget Committee, Dr. Price has a thorough understanding of health care policy and the damage that Obamacare has caused. We intend to resist and avoid that harm".

The middle of the night vote places Price in charge of carrying out President Trump's campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Price has faced allegations he engaged in insider trading by purchasing shares of healthcare companies while simultaneously pushing and advocating for legislation that could impact the companies' stock prices.

Mr Price, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2005, has always been vehemently opposed to Obamacare and has proposed his own detailed plan for an alternative system.

"He should have withdrawn his nomination weeks ago, and if he didn't go voluntarily, the president and his friends in Congress should have quietly but forcefully pushed him out", she said.

Finally, Thompson notes, "as more health policy decision-making is shifted to the states, it's critical that ERISA preemption is preserved so self-insured national employers can continue to meet the healthcare needs for their workforce". He was one of only a handful of doctors serving on Capitol Hill.

As head of Health and Human Services, Price could be influenced by his extreme views and reduce LGBT-related research or HIV-related research. Trump has said the administration's vision for health care would come down shortly after Price was confirmed. "We look forward to working with him to expand access to quality, affordable health care".

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs voted unanimously to send the nomination of David Shulkin, MD, as Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary to the Senate floor.

"Price's vision for reforming USA healthcare would result in millions of Americans losing their existing health insurance coverage, and millions more having to make do with bare-bones policies that offer little to no meaningful protection".

  • Larry Hoffman