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Healthcare Groups React to HHS Secretary Confirmation

News  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   February 13, 2017

Tom Price, President Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Human Services, is the first physician to hold the office since the 1990s. He has vowed to take down Obamacare.

Healthcare industry groups hailed and hammered Rep. Tom Price, (R-GA) MD Friday after his appointment as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was approved 52-47 by the Senate.

Price is the first physician to lead HHS since President George H. W. Bush appointed Louis Sullivan, MD. Sullivan served from 1989 to 1993.

Opposition to the nominee centered on his opposition to and determination to weaken the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Another focus of the confirmation hearings was the orthopedic surgeon's stock trades while he was a member of the House.

Reactions from industry associations and groups ran the gamut.

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The Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from across healthcare, including health services giant Baylor Scott & White Healthcare and Walgreens to the device and implant manufacturer Stryker, praised Price's confirmation.

"We view this as a vote for patients and for strengthening our nation's healthcare system," said HLC President Mary R. Grealy. "Dr. Price brings to HHS the healthcare insights of a practicing physician and the policy knowledge he demonstrated as House Budget Committee chairman. These are assets that will enable him to begin work immediately enhancing the quality and accessibility of care for all Americans."

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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