10 Things to know about HHS Secretary-designate Tom Price

November 29, 2016

A former private practice physician is poised to become the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here’s what physicians should know about him.

 

 

 

Tom Price, MD, a Republican representative from Georgia, is poised to be nominated as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to media reports.

Here’s what physicians should know about Price.

 

 

 

 

10. He is a third-generation physician, having served in private practice for nearly 20 years in Georgia as an orthopedic surgeon. He received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Michigan and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. Price later returned to Emory as an assistant professor and medical director of the orthopedic clinic at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, where he taught resident physicians.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Price is a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus. The caucus is comprised of 18 medical professionals who use their medical training and expertise to help shape healthcare policy. 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Price is a six-term member of the house, first elected to represent Georgia’s 6th district in 2004. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and is chairman of the House Budget Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

7. He is a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act. In October, Price blasted the Obama Administration following news of premium rate hikes on some marketplace-based health plans in a statement: “…President Obama and Democrats have the audacity to tout Obamacare’s ‘success,’ [but] the cold hard facts and figures prove the opposite is true.” A few days earlier, he pledged that Republicans would fight for “patient-centered solutions that actually put patients, families and doctors in charge of healthcare in this nation.”

 

 

 

 

 

6. Price is a key proponent of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisconsin) “Better Way” plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. As one of the House Republicans who devised the plan, Price recently said it was “simply not enough” to acknowledge the failures of Obamacare, but it’s necessary to offer another solution.

 

 

 

 

 

5. He is not completely sold on the final rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), although he voted for the legislation. Following the release of the final rule in October, Price said Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program “deserves careful scrutiny in the light of serious concerns” among the GOP Doctor’s Caucus. We are deeply concerned about how this rule could affect the patient-doctor relationship, and I look forward to carefully reviewing it in the coming days to determine whether the Administration has addressed those concerns and put the interests of patients first” Price said via statement.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Price is a Trump supporter. In May, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, Price joined eight fellow chairmen in endorsing Trump for president. “Any other outcome [of the election] is a danger to economic growth, puts our national security in peril, enshrines ObamaCare as the law of the land, entraps Americans in a cycle of poverty and dependence, and undermines our constitutional republic,” Price and his colleagues wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Price and fellow Republicans have their eye on Medicare reform as an immediate priority. Earlier this month, Price told reporters that reforms to the federal program would likely come “six to eight months” into a new administration. Media reports say both Price and Speaker Ryan support privatizing Medicare, but no specific plans have been unveiled.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Price supports Medicaid reform as well, recently calling the program “an empty promise” in the 2017 House budget committee’s resolution. Price added, “Finding a physician who will see Medicaid beneficiaries can be incredibly challenging because providers are under-reimbursed and cannot afford to provide care at the rates the program pays.”

 

 

 

 

1. Price is very active on Twitter. Find him @RepTomPrice.