|Photo The AP.|
Dr. Tom Price early Friday received Senate confirmation of his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the top health post in President Trump’s administration. Price was confirmed 52-47 on a party-line vote held around 2 a.m. on Friday after Democrats extended debate over concerns about Price’s financials and views on health care reform.
As secretary, Mr. Price will be responsible for a department with an annual budget of more than $1 trillion and authority over the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The former orthopedic surgeon and Member of Congress from Georgia since 2005 was tapped for the cabinet position due in part to his previous plans to unravel the 2010 health care law. As a Representative, Price authored a bill repealing and reforming the health care law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Price “knows more about health care policy than just about anyone.” In the last legislative session, Price served both as Chair of the House Budget committee and as a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, which has broad jurisdiction over Medicare.
Price’s confirmation sets in motion the confirmation process for Seema Verma, the administration’s nominee for Director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Verma will have her first confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, February 16.