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 Trump Selects Azar to Lead HHS

​President Trump on Monday said via tweet he has selected Alex Azar for the open Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary job. The previous HHS head, Tom Price, was forced to resign in late September after reports surfaced that he used private and government jets for his air travel at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 million.

Trump’s tweet said: “Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary. He will be a star for better health care and lower drug prices!”

In response to the announcement, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson congratulated Azar, noting he is a respected and experienced leader in the health care arena.

“We look forward to working with him upon his confirmation to provide solutions to delivering quality care for the over 1 million seniors and individuals with disabilities we serve,” Parkinson said.

Media reports said the Azar confirmation hearing process may not be easy, given the yearlong battle between the White House and congressional Democrats over the failed attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, putting the nominee’s views under the microscope.

Azar’s background includes executive roles in the pharmaceutical industry. He departed Eli Lilly this past January to lead a consulting firm. Azar served as HHS general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and then deputy secretary for a two-year stint during President George W. Bush’s administration.

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