President-elect Trump names Tom Price as secretary of health and human services: Report

Republican US Representative Tom Price getting into an elevator at Trump Tower, on Nov 16, 2016, in New York City.
Republican US Representative Tom Price getting into an elevator at Trump Tower, on Nov 16, 2016, in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) -  President-elect Donald Trump has selected Mr Tom Price, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia who has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act, to be secretary of health and human services, according to a transition team official.

Mr Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has been a severe critic of the health law, saying it interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions.

And he says that events have borne out his warnings.

“Premiums have gone up, not down,”  Mr Price said recently. “Many Americans lost the health coverage they were told time and time again by the president that they could keep. Choices are fewer.”

An announcement of Mr Price’s appointment is expected as soon as Tuesday (Nov 29), according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been released.

Some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative. Mr Price, by contrast, has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation.

From his days as a Georgia state senator, Mr Price, now 62, has been a voice for doctors, often aligned with the positions of the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of Georgia.

As secretary, Mr Price would be responsible for a department with an annual budget of more than US$1 trillion (S$1.42 trillion) health programs that insure more than 100 million Americans and agencies that regulate food and drugs and sponsor much of the nation’s biomedical research.