Price is Donald Trump’s pick to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
♦By Rich Shumate, Chicken Fried Politics.com editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who has led the charge in Congress to repeal Obamacare, has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to head the department that oversees the nation’s health care system.
Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon from Roswell in the Atlanta suburbs, is Trump’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, a post that took on vast new powers under the Affordable Care Act passed in 2009.
“I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of the American people,” Price said in a statement announcing the appointment.
“There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.”
In his own statement, Trump said Price “has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity.”
“He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American.”
Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was one of nine Republican chairman to jointly endorse Trump in early May, just before he had secured the party’s presidential nomination.
During the campaign, Trump vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, something Republicans have tried to do repeatedly while President Obama was in office. Price has been among the leaders of that repeal effort in the House.
The HHS secretary is responsible for overseeing key parts of the Obamacare machinery, including the exchanges that offer subsidized insurance coverage to lower-income Americans and the Medicaid program that allows states to cover the medical costs of the poor.
Price was elected to the U.S. House in 2004, representing Georgia’s heavily Republican 6th District, which takes in upscale suburbs north of the city of Atlanta.
If he is confirmed to the HHS post, a special election will be held to pick his replacement in the House. Given the political leanings of the district, the seat is almost certain to remain in Republican hands.