ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump has named Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a strong critic of the Affordable Care Act, as his pick for secretary of health and human services, the president-elect’s transition team announced Tuesday morning.
Rep. Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an orthopedic surgeon, is one of the few Republicans in Congress to have proposed detailed, conservative alternatives to the health care act known as Obamacare.
In a statement, Trump said Price “is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American.”
Price in a statement said, “There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors.”
The Georgia Republican, who met with Trump in New York City earlier this month, was one of the first House committee chairmen to endorse the presidential candidate, which he did in May as the GOP presidential primary was ending.
As health and human services secretary, Price would play a major role in any repeal or replacement of Obamacare and in any changes to Medicare, which he supports privatizing.
Price was first elected to Congress in 2004 after four terms in the Georgia State Senate. In Congress, he served for several years alongside Vice President-elect Mike Pence, when Pence was in the House. Price, like Pence, has served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a large and influential conservative House GOP caucus.
Democrats are already voicing opposition to Price given his past proposals and positions on health care and Medicare.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Democratic Senate minority leader, said “Congressman Price has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood.” Nominating him as health secretary “is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”
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