News & Politics

Report: Trump Picks Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary

Elevators close on Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as he arrives at Trump Tower, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

According to the Washington Post, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Georgia Rep. Tom Price, a former orthopedic surgeon and staunch ObamaCare opponent, to serve as the secretary of health and human services in his administration.

An insider from within the transition team told the Post that the public announcement of Trump’s selection of Price could come as early as Tuesday.

As HHS secretary, Price would become the Trump administration’s point person on dismantling and replacing the Affordable Care Act, one of Trump’s major campaign promises.

Price, 62, who represents a suburban Atlanta district, has played a leading role in the Republican opposition to the law known as Obamacare and has helped draft several comprehensive bills to replace it.

During the campaign, Trump railed against the Affordable Care Act and vowed to repeal and replace it. But after meeting with Obama in the Oval Office shortly following the election, he was convinced to perhaps keep some of the more popular elements of the law intact and amend the law rather than repeal it.

Trump has said he would favor keeping the provision preventing insurers from refusing coverage for preexisting conditions as well as the one permitting children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

Price is a six-term congressman who chairs the House Budget Committee and is said to be close to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

A plan introduced by Price in 2013 would replace ObamaCare with a market-friendly healthcare system.

In Price’s vision, the AJC wrote, Congress would eliminate the individual mandate and Obamacare’s network of exchanges and instead substitute it with tax credits to subsidize health insurance purchases on the private market. The federal government would also “give grants to states to set up high-risk and reinsurance pools for those who cannot find insurance on the individual market.”

The bill aims to provide affordable coverage for all through a series of tax credits and deductions designed to entice individuals into the insurance market with positive incentives, as opposed to Obamacare’s solution of fining those who refuse to purchase health insurance. “It’s a carrot instead of a two-by-four,” Price says. “Regardless of where one fits in the economic spectrum, there is a financial incentive to purchase health coverage that the individual wants, not that the government forces them to buy.”

A month ago this seemed like too much to hope for. ObamaCare was in the process of unraveling on its own, but a President Clinton would have replaced it with a single-payer system of total government control. Now it appears these dark days of big-government health care tyranny will soon be coming to an end.

What a wonderful way to start the Advent season.