President-elect Donald Trump has selected pro-life champion Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to run the Department of Health and Human Services.
Price, a physician, is a known opponent of Obamacare, signaling the incoming administration’s intention of following through with its campaign promise to “repeal and replace.”
“Some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative,” reported the New York Times. “Mr. Price, by contrast, has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation.”
Price’s piece of legislation, the Empowering Patients First Act, would repeal and replace Obamacare and create tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance policies. If passed, it would also create new incentives for people to contribute to health savings accounts, offer grants to states to subsidize insurance for “high-risk populations,” and promote competition by allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines. His legislation also provides explicit protections for religious freedom and rights of conscience related to the practice of abortion and the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs.
As an added bonus, Price has consistently — 100% of the time — voted to Defund Planned Parenthood. He is an outspoken critic of abortion, calling it a “barbaric” practice.
Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocacy group NARAL seems concerned by the selection as well:
Trump’s HHS pick, Rep. Tom Price, has been in Congress for 11 yrs. & never cast a pro-choice vote while repeatedly voting to defund @PPFA.
— NARAL (@NARAL) November 29, 2016
Price has been strong on all of FPIW’s issues in Congress, stating after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage that it was “not only a sad day for marriage, but a further judicial destruction of our entire system of checks and balances.”
Price must be confirmed by the incoming U.S. Senate next year before taking over the Department. And of course, if confirmed, he would no longer be a member of Congress, meaning that his legislation would have to be picked up by another member of Congress. But with conservative majorities in the House and Senate, and a clear priority for the incoming Trump Administration to repeal and replace Obamacare, we don’t expect finding legislative sponsors to be an issue.