Trump Taps 'Obamacare' Critic Rep. Tom Price for Health Secretary

The Georgia congressman is an ally of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

ByABC News
November 29, 2016, 9:29 AM

— -- Donald Trump has named Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, a strong critic of the Affordable Care Act, as his pick for secretary of health and human services, the president-elect's transition team announced this morning.

Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an orthopedic surgeon, is one of the few Republicans in Congress to have proposed a detailed, conservative alternative to "Obamacare."

In a statement, Trump said Price "is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace 'Obamacare' and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American."

Price said in a statement, "There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families and doctors."

The Georgia Republican, who met with Trump in New York City earlier this month, was one of the first House committee chairmen to endorse then-candidate Trump, in May as the GOP presidential primaries were ending.

As health and human services secretary, Price would play a major role in any repeal or replacement of "Obamacare" and in any changes to Medicare, which he supports privatizing.

Price was first elected to Congress in 2004 after four terms in the Georgia state Senate. In Congress he served for several years in the House alongside Mike Pence, now the vice-president-elect. Price, like Pence, has served as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a large and influential conservative House GOP caucus.

Democrats are already voicing opposition to Price, given his proposals and positions on health care.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate minority leader, said, "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." Nominating him as health secretary "is akin to asking the fox to guard the henhouse."

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