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GOP Praise Trump's HHS Secretary Pick: 'Absolute Perfect Choice'

GOP Praise Trump's HHS Secretary Pick: 'Absolute Perfect Choice'

Tom Price (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 November 2016 05:35 PM

Republicans Tuesday celebrated President-elect Donald Trump's pick of longtime Obamacare foe Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, while Democrats vowed a showdown over the Georgia legislator's nomination.

"Dr. Tom Price will bring practical knowledge as a doctor and a legislator to an agency that needs it now more than ever," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Price, who is an orthopedic surgeon. "This will be especially important as Republicans once again deliver on our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reforms.

"Obamacare has failed the American people, who have been let down by years of broken promises," the Kentucky senator added. "Americans deserve better — and Dr. Price is the right person to lead the charge."

Trump announced his selection of Price, 62, a six-term congressman, earlier Tuesday. He currently serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called Price "the absolute perfect choice."

"Tom Price has made healthcare his life's work," the Wisconsin Republican said. "As a doctor, he has practiced and taught medicine, and he knows exactly how Washington's decisions affect patients.

"As a legislator, he has played a leading role in developing conservative healthcare solutions that put patients first," Ryan added. "We could not ask for a better partner to work with Congress to fix our nation's healthcare challenges.

"I commend President-elect Trump for this excellent nomination."

In nominating Price as HHS secretary, Trump said that he was "exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American."

The president-elect also nominated Indiana consultant Seema Verma to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the powerful agency that oversees government health programs and insurance standards.

She has worked with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the Hoosier State's governor, to implement a compromise plan that expanded Medicaid coverage for poor residents with federal funding.

Both nominations require Senate confirmation — and McConnell said that all of Trump's Cabinet nominees would be considered "in a thorough and timely manner as it does its part to ensure a smooth transition between administrations."

Price has long railed against the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature domestic legislative achievement, which would require congressional approval for repeal.

He said Tuesday that much work remained to "ensure that we have a healthcare system that works for patients, families, and doctors" based on "sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit."

In October, Price slammed reports that Obamacare premiums would rise by as much as 25 percent next year.

"Another year, another increase," Price told Newsmax.

"While President Obama and Democrats have the audacity to tout Obamacare's 'success,' the cold, hard facts and figures prove the opposite is true.

"Every single day, Obamacare is making the quality of healthcare in this country worse," he said.

"The president and Democrats want to throw more tax dollars at the problem and want to pass more laws to prop up Obamacare — but the last thing we need is more government involvement in healthcare.

"American patients and taxpayers cannot afford Obamacare, and clearly this law was doomed from the start," Price said.

He also has championed tax credits, expanded health savings accounts and legal reforms through lawsuits to replace Obamacare.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that Price was the best person to create a replacement for the 2010 healthcare law.

"Tom price is one of the smartest guys on this issue," he told Jake Tapper on CNN. "He has a lot of plans that could take care of these problems, bring the cost of healthcare down.

"I hear from people about how their premiums are skyrocketing and coverage is going down."

But Democrats made clear that they would oppose Price's nomination, with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer declaring that Trump's selection was "akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house."

"Congressman Price has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood," said Schumer, who is expected to be Senate Minority Leader next year.

"Thanks to those programs, millions of American seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable healthcare," he said.

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly said that he would oppose Price because he has "led the charge to privatize Medicare, and for this reason, I cannot support his nomination.

"The nomination of Tom Price would put us on a direct path to end Medicare as we know it, which would raise healthcare costs and break a fundamental promise to seniors.

"I have fought to protect Medicare," Donnelly added, "and I will continue to oppose efforts to privatize Medicare or turn it into a voucher program."

Meanwhile, David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, praised Price's nomination as a legislator who "brings something to HHS that’s been missing for a long time: A common-sense commitment to free-market healthcare reforms.

"Dr. Price has been a leader in the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare" — and he has a 91 percent rating from the pro-growth organization, McIntosh said.

"The club eagerly anticipates his leadership in healthcare reform that will lower costs and diminish the role of the federal government."

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Republicans Tuesday celebrated President-elect Donald Trump's pick of longtime Obamacare foe Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, while Democrats vowed a showdown over the Georgia legislator's nomination.
gop, praise, trump, tom price, hhs secretary, pick
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 05:35 PM
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