This is a splendid development. It is possible it comes only because Ben Carson turned down the job. Offering it to Carson goes along with my concerns from earlier today about Trump filling up his cabinet, not necessarily with the best people but the people most loyal to him. Loyalty cannot be understated, but there are times when it must be overlooked to make sure the best person is doing the job.
In Representative Tom Price, the Health and Human Services would not only have an intelligent and qualified person running the organization; but HHS would also benefit from the fact Price is a medical doctor:
Rep. Tom Price has emerged as the clear front-runner to serve as Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, according to several Republican sources close to the transition team.
Price, a physician and an ardent opponent of Obamacare, would lead the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act and potentially help Congress enact a new health plan. His selection would be a strong embrace of the House’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.
The Georgia Republican, who leads the House Budget Committee, has been one of the GOP’s top voices on Obamacare repeal and other health care issues. He was one of the first Republicans to introduce an alternative to Obamacare when Democrats were debating health care reform in 2009 and 2010.
Representative Price also introduced a replacement for Obamacare (contrary to the myths of the press who continue to repeat the trope Republicans don’t have ideas of their own for replacing The Affordable Care Act). Called ‘The Empowering Patients First Act,’ it’s a comprehensive market-based plan to replace Obamacare. For the legal eagles in the audience, the text of the bill can be found here. A complete section by section description can be found here.
I reached out to Ellen Carmichael, Price’s former press secretary for comment. She said:
“Dr. Price’s entire life has been dedicated to the service of others, whether in the operating room or on the floor of the House. He’s also an individual of the highest character and deepest intellect. With a combination of practical application as one of the country’s most revered orthopedic surgeons and policy expertise on health care, there is quite possibly no one more qualified in America, no matter the role, to lead the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
If Price is offered and accepts, I don’t suspect much of a confirmation fight.