By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, US President-elect Donald J. Trump (R) announced that US Representative Tom Price M.D. (R-Georgia) would be his nominee to head the US Department of Health and Human Services. US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) announced his support for the decision.
Congressman Byrne said, “My friend and colleague, Rep. Tom Price, is a great choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. As a doctor, he understands how policies in Washington impact patients, doctors, nurses, and medical providers. I am confident he will help chart a path forward away from the failures of Obamacare toward health care reforms that actually lower costs, increase competition, and encourage innovation.”
The Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) also issued a statement supporting President Trump’s nomination of Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Speaker Ryan wrote, “This is the absolute perfect choice. Tom Price has made health care his life’s work. As a doctor, he has practiced and taught medicine, and he knows exactly how Washington’s decisions affect patients. As a legislator, he has played a leading role in developing conservative health care solutions that put patients first. We could not ask for a better partner to work with Congress to fix our nation’s health care challenges. I’m so happy for Tom and his family, and I commend President-elect Trump for this excellent nomination.”
Rep. Tom Price has been a critic of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) and has been a leading advocate of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Price is an orthopedic surgeon from the suburbs of Atlanta. He introduced the Empowering Patients First Act, to replace Obamacare.
Price’s plan would have allowed people in the insurance market as well as veterans on Tricare and seniors on Medicare to opt out of the costly government plans and use tax credits to buy private coverage. Democrats vow to fight any changes to Medicare and US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has suggested that Senate Democrats may attempt to block Dr. Price’s nomination.
Trump also announced that Elaine L. Chao will be his Transportation Secretary. Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R from Kentucky) and headed the Labor Department under Pres. George W. Bush (R).
Congress has now returned from break and is back in session.
Rep. Byrne said on social media: “The House is back in session, and we are scheduled to consider a number of bills important to our nation’s veterans. It is also likely we will consider the 21st Century Cures Act and the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These are two of the few items that need attention before the end of the year.”
Congressman Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.
(Original reporting by NPR, the New York Times, and Fox News contributed to this report)