Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tom Price appointed as Head of Health and Human Services

It has taken 48 hours for me to wrap my head around the announcement.  Most physicians would recognize his name as a physician and a congressman from Georgia.

I am pleased that President-elect Trump nominated Tom Price as the future head of Health and Human Services.

I did some due diligence in the manner most physicians approach any issue. My hope and expectation is that Trump appointed Price because of his education, training and experience as an orthopedic physician and surgeon as well as his experience on the House Budget Committee as  Chairman. He would also be among the most politically conservative Health and Human Services secretaries in history. And as a member of House leadership, he would bring to the Trump administration a revolutionary governing agenda closely aligned with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

As a leading member of the tea party caucus in the House, Price has led calls for dramatically cutting federal programs, particularly for low- and moderate-income Americans, and for repealing and replacing Obamacare, which he has called “monstrous legislation.”

He is the group of doctors often called in at a time of crisis, and trauma. Many do their best work at night, on weekends and holidays.  Price is no stranger to challenges in the hospital, operating room and congress.

There has been an immediate and predictable Democratic response, a knee-jerk reaction (reflex) which requires no cerebral activity to elicit with a reflex hammer. It is a lower form of neural reflex moderated only by the spinal cord and several peripheral neurons.

Georgia Rep. Tom Price has been a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act and a leading advocate of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.
Price, an orthopedic surgeon from the suburbs of Atlanta, introduced his own legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare in the current Congress and the three previous sessions. Price's plan, known as the Empowering Patients First Act, was the basis for a subsequent health care proposal unveiled by House Speaker Paul Ryan, with Price's endorsement, in June.
Three of the four previous Health and Human Services secretaries were former governors. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, would be the first physician to serve as the department’s secretary since Dr. Louis Sullivan, who held the post from 1989 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush.
Price's major complaint about the ACA is that it puts the government in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship.
"They believe the government ought to be in control of health care," Price said in June at the American Enterprise Institute event where Ryan unveiled the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare. "We believe that patients and doctors should be in control of health care," Price continued. "People have coverage, but they don't have care."


Now that President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, here are five key planks in his own health care proposal.
He would also be among the most politically conservative Health and Human Services secretaries in history. And as a member of House leadership, he would bring to the Trump administration a revolutionary governing agenda closely aligned with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Price has said he's not wedded to his own ideas and is open to compromise, so the final proposal to replace Obamacare is likely to be a hybrid of his ideas and those hammered out with other Republican House members and presented as Ryan's plan.
Still, with Price on track to be at the helm of HHS, he would be the one writing the rules to implement whatever legislation is eventually passed.
We will see what happens after the inauguration !  The ball is already in play.

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