President-elect Donald Trump recently named Rep. Tom Price, a vocal critic of Obamacare and the nation’s entitlement programs, as secretary of the Health and Human Services department. People familiar with the matter confirmed the news Monday night and said Trump should announce the nomination Tuesday.
Analysts believe Trump picked Price for the job because he can help undo President Obama’s signature health care law. The brash billionaire pledged several times he would dismantle the law as soon as he reached the Oval Office.
Price Poised to Dismantle Obamacare
Price, 62, who is a third-generation medic, often led Republicans in their crusade to dismantle the health care refor. He also helped draft several proposals for the purpose. Nevertheless, all his efforts were in vain because the said proposals never made it past Obama’s veto.
The Republican-controlled House has tried 60 times to dismantle the law or remove parts from it without success. However, now that a Republican is in the White House things are very likely to change.
While other Republicans turned their backs on Trump on the campaign trail, House
Speaker Paul Ryan included, Price has stood by his side. This spring, he persuaded nine GOP House committee leaders to jointly pledge loyalty to the real estate tycoon. He also urged “all Americans” to back him.
Price is a self-professed conservative who slammed Democrats countless of times because of their “vile liberal agenda” which puts at risk everything America “hold[s] dear.” His congressional webpage deems him a person committed to decreasing federal spending and restricting government interfering.
Earlier this year, he expressed his hope that a Trump presidency could help the Tea Party advance their healthcare agenda. Republicans want to revamp the health law along conservative lines. Back then, Price also praised Trump for being “one of the best listeners” people ever worked with despite the ongoing controversy about his temper.
During the presidential race, Trump pledged to undo the Affordable Care Act and replace it. On one occasion, he even promised to summon Congress for that purpose. After the Election Day, however, he remained silent on a deadline for the plan.
Medicare and Medicaid at Risk too
Price, who is a member of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, is also a staunch critic of Medicaid and Medicare. He wants both programs to stop providing insurance to every eligible person. Instead, he wants states to set in place stricter eligibility rules and gain more freedom from federal requirements about the medical services. Price’s plan includes the requirement for “able-bodied” recipients to get a job before receiving health care benefits. Obama administration dismissed the proposal several times.
Obamacare supporters, on the other hand, estimate such proposals would deprive at least 14 million people from coverage if Congress reverses Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
In addition, Price thinks Medicare’s philosophy should switch to a “defined contribution” instead of a “defined benefit.” Under his proposed rules, the older and disabled patients will get financial aid to purchase private insurance from the government.
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