The Senate Should Reject Tom Price as Head of Health and Human Services

BOSTON, MA – Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s vote today to confirm the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and bring the nomination to a vote in the Senate.

“Today, the Senate Finance Committee pushed through the nomination of Rep. Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) despite many unanswered questions about his fitness for the job.

“In his hearing before the committee, Rep. Price provided inadequate answers to critical questions about how he will implement President Donald Trump’s health care agenda. He refused to guarantee that the 22 million people who gained coverage under the ACA would not lose it under President Trump. He dodged questions about whether he would endorse administrative action to repeal the law without a replacement. And he continued to deflect questions about whether his support for block granting Medicaid and turning Medicare into a private voucher program would cause low-income people and seniors to lose health care coverage.

“Since Rep. Price refused to shed light on these and other important issues, including serious ethical questions related to his financial dealings, we can only look at his record. He has a history of pursuing health care initiatives that are harmful to the most vulnerable members of our society. He has proposed ACA ‘replacement’ ideas that would cause millions to lose health coverage, increase premiums for millions more, and take us back to the days of coverage denials and bare bones health plans. He has put forward plans to make radical changes to Medicaid and Medicare that would impede access to care, shift the cost of care onto consumers who can least afford it, and thwart innovations that are improving the quality and reducing the cost of care in the United States.

“As an organization that represents the interest of all consumers, especially the most vulnerable, we are deeply concerned that under Price’s leadership at HHS we would see a reversal of the major gains we’ve made in improving access to high-quality, affordable care. We urge the Senate to reject Price’s nomination.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: : in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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