More than 5,700 doctors have signed a petition voicing disapproval of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for health and human services secretary, expressing concerns that the policies Rep. Tom Price of Georgia has promoted "threaten to harm our most vulnerable patients and limit their access to healthcare."
"We cannot support the dismantling of Medicaid, which has helped 15 million Americans gain health coverage since 2014," wrote the three doctors who started the petition. "We oppose Dr. Price’s proposals to reduce funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a critical mechanism by which poor children access preventative care. We wish to protect essential health benefits like treatment for opioid use disorder, prenatal care, and access to contraception."
The petition was created in response to the American Medical Association’s swift endorsement of Price, an orthopedic surgeon who has strongly opposed Obamacare and who has previously talked of transforming Medicare and Medicaid.
"Doctors are divided big time," Dr. Carl G. Streed Jr., a primary care doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told The New York Times.
Dr. Robert E. Hertzka, an anesthesiologist and former president of the California Medical Association, defended Price’s appointment.
"For those who are attacking Dr. Price, I have to ask whom you would rather have at the helm of HHS — a career bureaucrat? A former governor who views doctors as a cost center to be controlled?" Hertzka told The Times. "Tom Price may turn out to be the best friend that physicians and patients have ever had in that role."
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