President-elect Donald Trump
today announced that he will nominate Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep.
Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
The Cabinet-level pick, which
requires Senate confirmation, places one of Obamacare’s most outspoken critics
in a key position to help Republicans implement their own plan for health care
“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,” said Trump. “He
is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace
Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American.”
Price said, “I am humbled by the
incredible challenges that lie ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be
a part of solving them on behalf of the American people.
“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,” he said.
In a related move, Trump
announced his choice of Seema Verma as administrator of the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Verma is currently chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of SVC Inc., a health policy consulting company. She served as Indiana’s health reform leader following the passage of the Affordable Care Act. She is the architect of the Healthy Indiana Plan, the nation’s first consumer-directed Medicaid program. Verma also helped Vice President-elect Mike Pence design Indiana’s waiver proposal to expand Medicaid.
“I am honored to
be nominated by President-elect Trump today,” says Verma. “I look forward to
helping him tackle our nation’s daunting health care problems in a responsible
and sustainable way.”
The skilled nursing profession
reacted favorably to the choices. Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the
American Health Care Association (AHCA), says, “Chairman Price is known throughout the
country not only for his medical background, but also his breadth of policy
when it comes to the nation’s health care system. He is a champion of
forward-thinking ideas that improve lives and deliver solutions, and our
profession looks forward to working with him upon his confirmation.”
Neil Pruitt Jr., chairman and chief
executive officer of PruittHealth and former AHCA board chairman, says that Price has long
been a strong advocate for the post-acute care community.
“We are excited that President-elect Trump has selected a Georgian who
could not be more qualified, and respected, to be HHS secretary,” Pruitt says. “His
vision of how health care can be transformed, to benefit all Americans, is one
every provider can support.”
“We’re excited about these announcements,” says Clifton
Porter II, senior vice president of government relations for AHCA. “Both
nominees will be proactive voices that understand the health care system. As an
orthopedic surgeon, Chairman Price has delivered care and understands the
rehabilitation process. This will add a level of insight and uniqueness to his
new role that we have not experienced in the past.”