Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Department of Health and Human Services early on Friday morning. After the Senate approved a budget blueprint to gut the Affordable Care Act, this is the next major step in repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Price, who has served in Congress since 2005 and was an orthopedic surgeon prior to that, was confirmed in a 52-47 vote and took his oath of office late Friday morning by Vice President Mike Pence. Those who’ve worked closely with the newly sworn in secretary believe he’s the right one to lead Republicans in their health care reform efforts.
Ellen Carmichael, president of the Lafayette Company and former press secretary under Price during his time in the House of Representatives, had been a strong advocate for her former boss during the confirmation process.
“Dr. Price has the unique professional experience to tackle repeal and replace Obamacare,” Carmichael told Red Alert Politics. “As a third generation physician who has spent more than three decades in the field of medicine and as the top policymaker in Washington on health care, there is no one better prepared for this job.”
Carmichael said that Sec. Price’s first priority will be to replace Obamacare “with actual patient-centered reforms that work for patients, families and doctors.”
“Dr. Price introduced an Obamacare alternative before it even existed – the Empowering Patients First Act. His solutions-oriented approach makes him especially qualified for this post. While Congress will ultimately guide the repeal-and-replace process, Dr. Price will be a trusted voice for them as they craft a plan that works for all Americans,” Carmichael continued.
With respect to millennials, however, Carmichael believes that Price’s expertise on health care reform will ultimately benefit young people.
“Millennials love having options. Obamacare has reduced our choices in physicians, insurers and plans. In a world where we demand services tailored to our individuality, Obamacare is a failed one-size-fits-all approach that cannot meet the unique needs we millennials — and all Americans — have.”
While there have been calls from Congress to expedite repealing Obamacare, a solid framework for replacement has yet been agreed to despite a number of proposals. At the very least, Republicans finally have some help in the executive branch to enforce whatever health care law they pass.