Blog Post

New HHS Secretary to Fight for Life & Religious Freedom

rep tom priceCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

All of those pro-abortion lawmakers who supported Obamacare, the controversial birth control mandate and Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funded gravy train are shaking in their boots this morning as President-elect Donald Trump announced the choice of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), one of the most stalwart defenders of life and religious freedom on the Hill, to serve as the new Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Fox News is reporting on the selection of Rep. Tom Price to head the HHS. If confirmed by the Senate, he will play a key role in efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, eliminating the HHS mandate and cutting Planned Parenthood funding. 

"Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity," Trump said in a statement. "He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American. I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services."

Rep. Price, 62, has played a leading role in the opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has helped to draft several comprehensive bills to replace it. These bills include keeping popular components of the ACA such as not allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be denied coverage and permitting children to stay on their parents’ coverage until the age of 26. For people without insurance through their jobs, these plans would establish a refundable tax credit in lieu of subsidies for those who do not qualify for Medicaid. It would also allow consumers to buy health insurance across state lines, which would drive down costs. Expanding health savings accounts, reforming medical liability rules and giving block grants to states to run Medicaid programs for the poor are also components of an ACA alternative.

Price, a former orthopedic doctor, is exceptionally suited for the post because he knows both the world of medicine and the workings of Congress after serving six consecutive terms in office.

"I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of the American people,” Price said about his nomination. “There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.”

Price is also a well-known advocate for life and has been an outspoken opponent of the controversial HHS mandate which forces religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for services that violate their beliefs.

“This rule and mandate by the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services represents just how destructive the president’s government-dictated health care system will be to the American people,” Price said shortly after the mandate was announced by then-Secretary Kathleen Subelius.

“This entire law is predicated upon the assumption that a person’s individual choices – and in this case one’s religious freedoms – are to take a back seat to the wishes and the will of Washington bureaucrats. . . This mandate ought to be reversed, the right to religious freedom protected, and the entire health care law repealed so that we may advance positive patient-centered solutions that protect access to care without threatening a fundamental freedom of this country.”

Price has also been a fierce opponent of providing taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood and was particularly incensed by the abortion giant’s role in the selling of body parts from aborted babies.

"Anyone who has not viewed the disturbing videos recently released should do so,” Price said shortly after videos were released by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress which showed Planned Parenthood executives haggling over fetal body parts.

Seema Verma Seema Verma

“It is only with that knowledge that one can know, in horrific detail, the barbaric practices being committed with federal taxpayer dollars. These actions cross a moral line beyond comprehension. . . . This, if seen, will shake anyone's conscience. Today, I voted to end taxpayer funding for the organization responsible and add criminal penalties in the event of born alive abortions.”

He added: "This effort is not about party ideology; it is about common, human decency and who we are as a people.”

It’s not surprising that pro-abortion lawmakers are decrying the nomination of Price to such a critical position.

His selection drew an immediate rebuke from the Senate’s incoming minority leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “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,” said incoming Senate minority leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). “Thanks to those three programs, millions of American seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable health care. Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”

Trump also nominated Seema Verma – the President, CEO and founder of SVC, Inc., a national health policy consulting company -- as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Verma has worked closely with Vice President-elect Mike Pence in designing health care programs in the state of Indiana.

"She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems,” Trump said. “Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans."

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