WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-majority U.S. Senate Finance Committee will vote on Tuesday on the nomination of Representative Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, the panel’s chairman, Senator Orrin Hatch, said on Sunday.
Price, a Republican, is an orthopedic surgeon who if confirmed would be given the task of carrying out President Donald Trump’s promise to gut former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. Price’s trading in health company stocks while a lawmaker has been questioned by Democrats, but Price says his actions were legal and ethical.
Price made his name in Washington as an opponent of Obamacare. For years he has proposed legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, but his proposal has never been voted on in committee.
At a hearing last week before the finance committee, Price minimized the impact he would have on changing the healthcare insurance system if he is confirmed, saying it would be his task to carry out the will of Congress, expressed in legislation. Congress is in the process of working on a repeal of Obamacare and crafting a replacement.
Republicans have generally supported Price’s nomination while Democrats have sharply criticized it. At last week’s hearing, the top Democrat on the finance committee, Senator Ron Wyden, said that if Price is confirmed, he would “take America back to the dark days when healthcare was for the healthy and the wealthy.”
Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jeffrey Benkoe