Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services in a party-line vote in the Senate early Friday morning.
Price, a retired orthopedic surgeon and former chairman of the House Budget Committee, is expected to lead the implementation of a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act if and when Congress passes substantive legislation. Price is also expected to take steps to follow through on the Executive Order President Trump signed on his first day in office. That Executive Order directed federal agencies to waive, delay and defer implementation of certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act to the extent permitted by law.
A staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Price proposed limiting the income tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health coverage while in Congress. He also advocated for expanding health savings accounts and providing refundable tax credits to those who purchase health insurance in the individual market. Price has voiced support for restructuring Medicare by offering vouchers to allow Medicare beneficiaries to purchase health coverage through an exchange.
During his confirmation hearings, Price was repeatedly questioned about investments he made in certain health-related companies while in Congress. Some accused Price of using his position to influence the price of stocks he owned. Ultimately though, Senate Republicans had the votes needed to confirm Price’s appointment.