Senate confirms Tom Price as new health secretary

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

Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon and seven-term House veteran from Atlanta, was President Trump's pick to head the Health and Human Services Department. He will be charged with finding a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Senators confirmed his nomination by a strictly party-line 52-47 vote following a debate that lasted until nearly 2 a.m. ET.

Democrats view Price as a polarizing figure with a controversial history of trading health care stocks and whose policies will snatch insurance coverage from Americans.

"He seems to have no higher priority than to terminate health coverage for millions of people,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. She said his preference for limiting women’s access to free birth control was "not only wrong, it’s arrogant."

Republicans see Price as a knowledgeable leader who will help obstruct President Obama’s health care policy that extended insurance coverage for millions.

Democrats also worry that he will make changes to Medicare and Medicaid, health programs that assist low-income families.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Price "knows more about health care policy than just about anyone.” He said Price would help “bring stability to health care markets that Obamacare has harmed."

2017 USA Today


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