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House Budget Chair Tom Price Tabbed as Trump's HHS Secretary

by Countable | 3.20.17

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a retired orthopedic surgeon, to become secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. "Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health-care policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity," Trump said in a statement.

Who is Tom Price?

Price, 62, was born in Lansing, MI, and grew up in Dearborn. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1977 with a general studies degree, earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Health System two years later and completed his residency at Atlanta’s Emory University. Finding Atlanta to his liking, he opened an orthopedic clinic there and ran it for two decades before leaving his practice to return to Emory, this time as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery.

He first tried his hand at politics in 1996, when he won the first of four consecutive terms in the state Senate. In 2005, he defeated six primary challengers and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives unopposed. He has since been re-elected five times and currently chairs the House Budget Committee.

Price, a Presbyterian, is pro-life and is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a nonpartisan group whose stated goal is "[to] fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine." In 2006, he voted in favor of constitutionally defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. The following year, he voted against a bill that would have banned job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He has received an “A” grade from the National Rifle Association and a zero percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization.

He and his wife, Betty, live in Roswell, GA, where she served on the City Council before being elected to the state House in 2015. They have an adult son named Robert.

What’s the outlook for his confirmation?

Likely but not without a battle. The Democrats have called for an ethics probe into his investments and stock holdings. Price, whose net worth is estimated at $13 million, is alleged to have traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in shares of health-related companies while championing legislation that could have favorably affected their stock prices. Trump’s team has defended him, and since Price is an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, whose repeal by the Republican-dominated House and Senate is underway, he will probably be confirmed after a hearing that’s expected to turn prickly.

You can tell your senators how to vote on Price’s confirmation using the "Take Action" button below.

What does the Department of Health and Human Services do?

HHS manages programs related to the health and welfare of U.S. citizens. It regulates food products and new pharmaceutical drugs, administers Medicare and Medicaid and other national health programs, endeavors to prevent the outbreak and spread of diseases, and funds medical research.

HHS employs 79,540 people and had a $1.02 trillion budget in fiscal year 2015. Notable sub-agencies include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

— Erin Wright

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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  • Steven
    01/24/2017
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    Vote no on Tom Price because of his questionable trading behavior and his actions against civil rights.

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  • Diane
    01/23/2017
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    Vote no

    Like (15)
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  • Gaiamama
    01/19/2017
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    Vote no! He has too many conflicts of interest and potential ethics violations.

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  • Jenny
    01/23/2017
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    No on price!!!

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  • Kathy
    01/19/2017
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    Vote No, he does not have the interest of all Americans represented.

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  • Sheryl
    01/18/2017
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    The fact that this nominee expects us to believe it was purely coincidental that he bought stock in the same 6 pharmaceutical companies that would benefit from a bill he sponsored and one biomedical company that would have increased profits from changes in how knee and hip replacements were paid for, due to a bill he supported vigorously, is preposterous! Do all of you do that? That's what Mr. Nelson said multiple times after denying knowledge that his broker bought these stocks. Respectfully- do you believe this is ok? I guess we will see by how you vote. We the People are pulling our heads out of the sand as you probably already know. Represent your constituents! It's time for legislators to hold each other accountable because we are so weary of this type of behavior.

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  • Hannah
    01/25/2017
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    Do not confirm him for this position. He is unethical, and in not unbiased in looking out for everyone in this country. He seems unable to separate his religious beliefs with his obligations to the country.

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  • Jennifer
    01/18/2017
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    Tom Price has a personal agenda that should negate his confirmation. He agrees that sexual discrimination is okay. He is against same sex marriage. His views on Medicare, Medicaid and free market health insurance all point to hardship for the people who need these programs the most. I hope that you have the guts to challenge him with questions that matter. So far it seems the Republicans are falling all over themselves to please Trump. I watched the DeVos confirmation hearing and most of the republican senators just praised her and gave their views of how education should be. There few questions which was disappointing.

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  • MP
    01/18/2017
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    I cannot support a man who says that not a single woman would be troubled by having to pay for their birth control out of pocket. He may wish to look at my personal bills, which were often $100 a month for the only pill I could take, or speak to my friends with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome who need it to fight off grapefruit sized growths in their uteruses. He may feel that my employers religion takes precedence over my ability to use the healthcare that is paid for as part of my wages but how I use my healthcare dollars isn't my bosses business. To say that not a single woman is inconvenienced is an insult to the over 50 million women who use contraceptive care for many reasons. How dare he decide that the women of this country deserve less covered preventative care? The massive drop in rx costs have been driven by a drop in contraceptive costs, which insurance companies don't mind much as they cost much less than unintended pregnancies and polycystic surgery, among others. This would also gut mammogram and cervical cancer screenings. Women vote and they will be directly impacted.

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  • Penny
    01/19/2017
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    Please do not confirm Tom Price. Shouldn't the ethics committee be looking into his investments?

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  • Coggins
    01/23/2017
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    This man is unqualified. He is dangerous to everyone, especially women. Reject.

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  • Yasemin
    01/24/2017
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    It seems this man has broken the law, hence he belongs in jail not in government.

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  • Kate
    01/19/2017
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    No. He's beholden to the NRA his financial interests. Vote no.

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  • Amy
    01/19/2017
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    Do not confirm

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  • Catherine
    01/18/2017
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    No to corrupt Price!!!

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  • Tracy
    01/18/2017
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    While Price has excellent academic credentials, his activities with the pharmaceutical investments that he had influence over is unethical. He also does not support programs that provide equal opportunities to all Americans .

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  • Gina
    02/09/2017
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    RE: Vote NO on Tom Price for Health and Human Services Secretary. Price's voting record, synopsis below, shows he votes against children's, women's and mental health care. He also votes for big pharma in voting against Medicare being able to negotiate drug prices. His record also shows he will not uphold equal rights for women & LGBT community. Price will be detrimental to the health and welfare of most Americans. Please put country and the health of our citizens over partisan politics and VOTE NO on PRICE. Detailed Price record at link: http://www.ontheissues.org/GA/Tom_Price_Health_Care.htm *Tom Price on Civil Rights Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. (Feb 2013) Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007) Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006) Voted NO on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005) Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006) Rated 17% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006) *Tom Price on Health Care Voted YES on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts. (Apr 2011) Voted YES on repealing the "Prevention and Public Health" slush fund. (Apr 2011) Voted NO on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Apr 2009) Voted NO on expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009) Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare. (Jul 2008) Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health. (Mar 2008) Voted NO on Veto override: Extend SCHIP to cover 6M more kids. (Jan 2008) Voted NO on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility. (Oct 2007) Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Jan 2007) Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)

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  • Katherine
    01/24/2017
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    No, no, no, NO

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  • Dkrumfox
    01/25/2017
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    Not a good candidate. Vote No

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  • Thelma
    01/19/2017
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    Vote no on Tom Price. I am a physician and can tell you from experience that this man cares nothing for the sick, vulnerable, and poor. He has significant conflicts of interest. If he didn't know what his tax broker was doing, he should have, and he gets a big demerit for not knowing. He should have known, either way. Tom Price is the worst possible candidate to oversee the care of our most vulnerable.

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