It’s Official: Congressman Tom Price To Lead HHS

Congressman Tom Price has officially been tapped to take the helm of Health and Human Services. The doctor turned Congressman who authored the Republicans’ most comprehensive alternative to Obamacare will now be in charge of overseeing the program and/or its replacement. Congressman Price’s statement on his nomination is as follows:

“It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thanks to President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence for their confidence. I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay 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.

“The citizens of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District have given me the privilege of representing them in Congress. I am so proud and grateful to live in and work on behalf of such a wonderful community and hope to continue serving our fellow citizens in this new role.”

Congressman Price must be confirmed by the Senate, at which point he would resign his House seat. This will set up a special election to fill Georgia-6. Cody gave a list a couple of weeks ago of possible replacements. We’ll have a lot more to say about that later. For now, this post is about Congressman Price.

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The Eiger
The Eiger

I’m not going to lie. I always knew that is was a possibility, but didn’t think it would happen. I will now apologize and take back most of the negative things I said about Trump.

gcp
gcp

Price is a good pick. The republican health care bill will be based on the Price plan. Jindal would have been good also but his strong criticism of Trump took him out of contention.

rickday
rickday

Charlie, I bet you a steak at Ruth’s Chris’ that Mister OMGBAMACARE Price will simply rearrange the deck chairs and call it ‘repeal’.

Because that is what sociopathic humans do, they lie.

I tell you what I do like; Price, Sessions, whoever, Trump is pulling some tenured Congressmen out of Congress/lines of succession, and putting them a tight leash. To be honest, it is one of the best things Trump can do; bust up the Good old Boy Monopoly on power in Congress.

I tell ya, that man Trump is an idiot savant!

gcp
gcp

“Price will simply rearrange the deck chairs and call it ‘repeal’. ”

The Price plan keeps a couple components of Obamacare but otherwise it’s quite different. For example, it replaces the exchanges with a refundable tax credit. States are given much more flexibility on Medicaid and there is a private option for Medicare.

rickday
rickday

PS: “Refundable tax credit”. Yeah for those who file long form. Like the top 15% income bracket. Sounds like a bold plan to address the bottom 85%’s needs.

And was it not the GOP controlled state legislators that refused to participate in Expanded Medicare, which has resulted in decimating the health care system for poor working whites in rural areas?

Uh huh. PriceCare™. Nice ring to it. kerChing.

bethebalance
bethebalance

and what of the mandate? doesn’t the Price plan rely instead on state-based high risk pools? i.e. let’s just go back to many more uninsured with conditions that can no longer be covered? i know DJT has indicated he wants to maintain the pre-existing condition coverage, but the insurance co.s will offer little room for negotiation. predicted winner: insurance companies, the status quo. predicted losers: sick people, individuals with income less than 300% of the poverty line. the poorer, the less likely you will get affordable access to care, much less quality care. at least there were a couple of… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

The problem with the mandate is that it only tries to address one of the many problems with health care. Cost. But what it does is say health care costs too much so let’s figure out a way to pay for it. That is a fundamentally flawed way to look at the real problem of increasing costs in health care. The anwer is to ask why health care cost so much and address the cost drivers. Not just say, “oh well. It’s expensive so let’s figure out a way to pay for it.” You have to address the cost drivers… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

well, one main way the ACA addressed costs was the focus on preventive care. and then there were rewards for insurers and providers who developed cost-savings through increased care coordination and other information systems/data use. and then there was disclosure and incentives regarding insurer’s administrative costs. so… it’s not like the ACA was blind to cost issues. i’ll research how Mr. Price’s plan addresses cost, but you know the easiest way to reduce costs?: drop the sick ppl out of coverage. sure hope that’s not the plan.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Nah, the easiest way to reduce costs is to kill all of the lawyers 👿
Seriously though the reversal of the Citizens United decision or an override by a law/amendment making individuals the only entities with constitutional rights and also a reversal of money “donated” considered free speech. Until this happens then just one example is that big pharma and their ilk will keep us subsidizing the rest of the world. This will not happen under this administration coupled with a Republican controlled legislature.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“you know the easiest way to reduce costs?: drop the sick ppl out of coverage. sure hope that’s not the plan.”

That is not the plan at all. The plan is to reduce costs across the board so that it is easier to cover people who have per-exsisting issues or are currently deemed too risky by insurers.

bethebalance
bethebalance

that intent sounds well and good and all, but i still haven’t uncovered any actual plan.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

The old system is insurers want you money until you get sick, i.e “deemed too risky by insurers.” Then your rates are quadrupled or worst until you are Priced out and forced to drop health insurance. Usually when you are laid up, recovering, not working and have no income. Meanwhile the same insurer is wasting big bucks of your premiums filling your mail box with expensive marketing mailers asking you to sign up for their insurance. It would be nice to have a system that rewarded long time subscribers better rates as an incentive to stay with their insurers. And… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

No one should be priced out of the health insurance market becasue they have a pre-exsisting condition or become sick. Congressman Price’s Empowering Patients First Act makes it so that the insurance providers are more accountable to the end user and not some HR person. The idea is that insurers need to compete for individuals’ business. If you change jobs or lose your job you should be able to keep you health insurance. Price’s plan allows for that. It also allows for greater flexibility with groups of people that may want to pool together to purchase health insurance. That is… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Actually, if you have a pre-existing condition and there is a gap in your coverage (ex. you lose your job), the Price Plan allows insurers to charge up to 150% of the standard premium due to your pre-existing condition. They can’t do that under Obamacare.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“Charlie, I bet you a steak at Ruth’s Chris’ that Mister OMGBAMACARE Price will simply rearrange the deck chairs and call it ‘repeal’.”

I’ll take your steak. Because the only reason Tom is going to HHS is to repeal and replace Obamacare.

davidmac
davidmac

Repeal yes, replace ???????

Ellynn
Ellynn

Technically he can’t repeal or replace anything as a cabinet head. He can only implement what congress passes and what the administration crafts and molds by presidential memo or order, plus by where he focuses his budget items.

He’s going so he can control the implementation of whatever the ADA becomes in the next congress.

Just saying.

rickday
rickday

Argh! I was hoping no one would point that fact out. Thanks a lot for blowing my steak dinner, cousin!

The Eiger
The Eiger

He will be the person writing TrumpCare and the person working with Congress to push it through. Just saying.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Again, “controlling it implementation”, but not technically the one repealing it. It’s a more powerful position on the healthcare front. If the GOP and future Sec. Price wants to fully control what the new form of healthcare is, they have to do it as a reform, not a repeal. A repeal and any brand new healthcare bill do not fall under reconciliation rules in the Senate. Schumer will hold the 60 vote count until he gets want he can out of the house bill that DHC does want. A reform of the ADA on the other hand – if written… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

I may know better than most. A repeal and replace is what is in the works.

Ellynn
Ellynn

I will concede the point if you have an inside track. Making the ‘replace’ 60 vote proof or a full budget bill is going to be tricky.

The Eiger
The Eiger

It may take time and it may take multiple smaller bills that rips it a part a little at the time but Obamacare will be repealed.

The Eiger
The Eiger

Also, Obamacare was passed with reconciliation which only need 51 votes. It can be repealed the same way with 51 votes. Just saying.

Stefan
Stefan

The tyranny of the minority rides again. Grand.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Using the original house bill, it was passed by the Senate in December of 2009 on a 60-39 vote for cloture and then a full senate vote also of 60-39 which allowed it to go back to the house if I remember right. It then morphed with a secondary house bill the Senate has passed on heath education reform that went back to the house with the changes as ‘budget items’, which placed it under reconciliation, I belief. See; tricky… Yes it can repeal it under reconciliation, but can they get it replaced as a full budget bill keeping the… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

I was around in 09 so I know how it was passed. And yes it’s possible to replace it with reconciliation. The democrats pulled every tool out in their tool box to pass it. The republicans will do the same to repeal it.

The few things that are good like keeping kids (a 25 year old is not a kid. I owned a house at that age) on their parents health converge will be put into a replacement.

rickday
rickday

You are not Charlie.

Plus I won’t eat there free twice, that would be so DC insider.

Bart
Bart

Congrats to Congressman Tom Price, well deserved.

Ironic that Price is being appointed by a guy who ran on the very issues used against him by his first opponent as an incumbent congressman. That primary opponent ran an outsider populist campaign based on opposition to immigration and trade deals like NAFTA. He only got about 17% of the vote, but John Konop who I opposed vehemently in 2006 was an early adopter of protectionist policies that now seem almost mainstream. Funny how politics plays out sometimes.

The Eiger
The Eiger

If Konop wasn’t just a jack ass he might have done better.

Stefan
Stefan

Ideas/issues subservient to (cult of) personality. Prescient, indeed.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“Ideas/issues” doesn’t make up for jasckassery.

Lady T
Lady T

I have been pleasantly surprised at Trump’s cabinet picks so far, and this is the best one yet! Shows he is serious about repealing and replacing the ACA with a better, more affordable market-based plan.

Benevolus
Benevolus

What does “market-based” mean to you?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Congratulations to Congressman Price. I wish him the best of luck in trying to kick nearly 15 million Americans off of Medicaid

The Eiger
The Eiger

I guess we just let it become insolvent and just do nothing. Or tax all those evil rich people.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Or adjust the payroll cap yearly on an inflation/cost of living matric and tax everyone’s first X amount of earnings like they do now.

On the upside, the ‘evil’ rich people will be only slightly inconvenienced (sar).

The Eiger
The Eiger

Of course that is an option, but that will not fully pay for the current trajectory of increased costs in Medicare. So in reality it isn’t a viable long term option. It’s a worthless band aide.

Ellynn
Ellynn

You saw the (sar) right… 😉

Stefan
Stefan

Is HR 2300 the model for TrumpCare (those words together seem oxymoronic, somehow)?

gcp
gcp

Here is the Price Plan (again). For those concerned about millions losing/unable to get coverage or other such silliness check “Protections for Patients” pages 20 to 22. The Price plan is not the final deal but it is the framework.

http://abetterway.speaker.gov/_assets/pdf/ABetterWay-HealthCare-PolicyPaper.pdf

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Rep. Price wants to undo Medicaid expansion, which covers roughly 15 million Americans. There is no replacement in Price’s plan to cover these people, instead they’ll either have to buy insurance they likely can’t afford or do without.

gcp
gcp

It’s difficult to say who, if anyone, will lose Medicaid because we don’t have specifics and because much of the control will be given to states. We do know funding will be quite different. States will have the option of per capital or as a block grant.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

I think there is an assumption here that he gets confirmed. I personally think its career suicide to have accepted. Democrats are going to tar and feather him for wanting to privatize Medicare (he wants to and has drafted legislation numerous times to do so). While the HHS Secretary doesnt “make” laws, they certainly write most of the rules and how to implement them. Also, when this all crashes and burns which it certainly will, who is Trump going to pin it on…himself? He will throw Price under the bus (which would be fitting in my mind) as fast as… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

Sounds like some serious sour grapes. I’ll try not shed a tear for you.