Trump's HHS Pick: A Price We Can't Afford
In late November, president-elect Donald Trump named Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as the man he wanted to head the Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed by the Senate, Price’s record suggests that he would be a disaster for patients, doctors, and anyone who cares about health justice in the United States. Consider the following:
* As a member of Congress, Price introduced the Empowering Patients First Act, intended to replace the Affordable Care Act. This bill relies on discredited policies such as high-risk pools, individual tax credits, and allowing insurers to sell bare-bones policies. If signed into law, it would eliminate coverage for millions of Americans.
* Together with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Price has pushed for “premium support” (i.e. vouchers) for Medicare. This would threaten traditional Medicare, increase out-of-pocket costs, and bolster the profits of the private insurance and financial services industries.
* Together with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services nominee Seema Verma, Price has voiced support for converting Medicaid into block grants. This would allow states to introduce cruel, counterproductive policies that compromise the health of their poorest residents. (Verma’s health savings accounts in Indiana are a prime example.)
* Price has proven hostile to family planning, and has endorsed policies that would place millions of women at risk. His extreme views include opposition to abortion under almost all circumstances, a preference for “religious freedom” over access to contraception, and an obsession with eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
* Price has a long history of opposing LGBT rights. As HHS secretary, he may decline to enforce nondiscrimination provisions of existing laws. Furthermore, his preferred Medicaid policies would restrict access to HIV/AIDS treatment for the most vulnerable patients.
This is precisely the wrong direction for our health care system. The last thing we need are policies that further deny access to care and that concentrate even more power in the hands of corporate interests. What we do need, now more than ever, is a single-payer national health program - an improved Medicare for all.
We encourage you to contact your senators today and voice your opposition to the nominations of Tom Price (HHS) and Seema Verma (CMS). And while you’re at it, press them to support single-payer legislation in the Senate that would, at long last, provide Americans with universal access to quality health care.
To contact your senators, simply call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also click here for senator-specific contact information (direct phone numbers and email submission forms).
You may also wish to sign the National Physicians Alliance online petition opposing Price's nomination, which can be endorsed by NPA members and non-members alike. Click here to access the petition, which will be submitted to Congress in the near future.
More on the Price and Verma nominations:
Price contradicts himself on the supposed virtues of high-deductible health plans:
PNHP calls on Trump to rescind the Price and Verma nominations:
SNaHP takes medical societies to task for their endorsements of Price:
Dr. Don McCanne envisions trouble ahead with the nominations of Price and Verma:
Dr. Don McCanne decries Verma’s push for “skin in the game” for Medicaid beneficiaries:
The New York Times reports on opposition to the Price nomination among physicians:
The Wall Street Journal reports on Price’s financial conflicts of interest:
ScienceBlogs reveals Price’s membership in an anti-science fringe group: