Today’s courtesy hearing for Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee raised more questions than answers. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would increase premiums by 20-25 percent and leave 18 million people uninsured within the first year. Price did not address those staggering statistics at all. Instead, he insisted that the administration’s plan would not leave millions without coverage and would cover more people than the ACA. Unfortunately, he did not provide any details about the plan.
Sen. Alexander, Chairman of the HELP Committee, asked Price if the administration’s plan would be a quick fix. Price assured him it would not be and that everyone would have access to high-quality health care. “We don’t intend to replace a Democratic plan with a Republican plan,” said Price. Chairman Alexander committed to a “step-by-step” process to repeal ACA and devise a long-term solution for all Americans. Alexander continued by saying the final plan should focus on employer coverage, Medicaid and the individual marketplace. Price still didn’t commit to details, but said that the plan would provide access to coverage and that full repeal would not be finalized until a replacement plan was in place.
Not knowing what the administration’s proposal entails, legislation that Price has introduced since 2009 gives us some indication of what to expect in the final plan. Price’s bill would repeal the ACA’s Medicaid expansion; favor young and healthy Americans, while putting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions at risk. Democratic members of the Committee pointed out the inconsistencies with what Price said at today’s hearing to what he has said in the past. Despite their questions, Price would not commit to maintaining the ACA’s protections for people with disabilities, women, mental health, or addiction. He also did not commit to shield Medicare or Medicaid funding from cuts. Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, later came under fire from Democrats for allegedly profiting from inside information on healthcare stocks and benefiting from legislation he helped write while serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee. Price insisted that he had done nothing inappropriate, as he used a broker and wasn’t aware of the stocks he owned.
Price will come before the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over his nomination, on January 24th at 10am. In advance of the Finance hearing, ANA is sharing our priorities and offering questions to Committee champions to get Price on record affirming his support for improving access, quality, and affordability of healthcare.
Just a few days into the new year, the U.S. Senate has already taken its first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act striping away health coverage from 30 million Americans.
With a 51-48 Senate vote fell almost entirely along party lines, an early sign of the contentiousness surrounding Republican plans to undo President Obama’s signature health-care law.
Senate Republicans held together to defeat Democratic amendments aimed at defending popular portions of the Affordable Care Act, including expanded Medicaid and Medicare drug benefits and allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26.
The House is planning to vote on the budget and we need Congress to hear from you!
Nurses are one of the few groups Congress will listen to. You’re part of America’s most trusted profession, and everybody knows that nurses stand with patients.
Stand with your patients now, and tell Congress: Don’t take health coverage away from millions of Americans!
With a new Administration set to step into the White House, the moment of truth is here… We’ve sent the Trump transition team a detailed set of principles they should follow as they seek to dismantle and replace our existing healthcare system. But Congress is in such a rush to repeal without a thoughtful replacement that they haven’t stopped to consider the effect their actions will have on the people you see every day in your clinics, in your hospitals, in your classrooms – and in your communities.
Preventative care, prescriptions, coverage for pre-existing conditions, parents keeping their children on their insurance until age 26 – it’s all on the line. And millions of your patients are wondering what it will mean for them.
Take action now – Send a message and make sure Congress knows that nurses aren’t going to let their patients lose access to the care they need.
Dr. Tom Price, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, is slated to testify at a courtesy hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on January 18th at 10:00am. Price (GA-6), an orthopedic surgeon, is currently Chairman of the House Budget Committee. The Senate Finance Committee, which has primary jurisdiction of Price’s confirmation, has not yet set a date for their hearing.
Trump has said that his administration will propose a repeal and replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) once Price is confirmed. While Trump has shared no details, his plan may resemble legislation which Rep. Price has introduced in every Congress since 2009. In addition to questions around Price’s legislation, the confirmation hearings may also examine his trading of healthcare stocks while serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the HELP Committee, suggested that Price wouldn’t be confirmed until mid-February. Should this timeline hold true, Price would not likely present the Trump administration’s plan to replace the ACA until the beginning of March.
ANA is closely working with coalition partners to protect access to affordable healthcare. In advance of the confirmation hearings, we are meeting with Senate champions on both the HELP and Finance Committees to share our priorities and offer questions to get Price on record affirming his support for improving access, quality, and affordability of healthcare — and his commitment to further advance value-based payment.