University of Michigan Alum and U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) will be a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet as head the Department of Health and Human Services, Trump announced Tuesday morning.
Price was born in Lansing and received his Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University before completing orthopaedic surgery residency at Emory University in Georgia. Price has served as a U.S. Rep. from Georgia since 2004 and chairs the House Budget Committee.
As the head of the HHS, Price will advise Trump on health and medical matters. Price is a notable opponent of the Affordable Care Act and has introduced the Empowering Patients First Act as an alternative to Obamacare. Under Price’s plan, individuals would receive age-adjusted tax credits when purchasing insurance and it would also allow insurers to sell policies across state lines in an effort to drive down costs by making insurance more competitive.
“True health reform in this country must put patients first while working to improve accessibility to, and affordability of, quality health care,” Price said in a press release on the legislation. “Rather than granting government more authority in the lives of patients and their doctors, we must seek reforms that empower patients while advancing the principles of accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.”
Trump’s platform included repealing the ACA, and Trump said he will work with Congress to reform healthcare and broaden healthcare access according to free market principles.
“(Price is) exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American,” Trump wrote in his cabinet announcement.
At a University event in September 2015, Price expressed his concerns about Trump as a presidential candidate.
“What concerns me about Trump is not necessarily his policy positions, but we know what it feels like to have a president that oversteps their bounds on regulations and rules,” Price said, referring to President Barack Obama. “And when I hear Trump saying things like ‘I’ll just do XYZ’ without seemingly any regard for the legislative branch, it gives me some thought.”