President-elect Donald J. Trump named his new top administrator for the Health and Human Services on Tuesday, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia.

“Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health care policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity,” Trump said in a statement. “He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American. I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

A former orthopedic surgeon, Price has been a fierce opponent of Obamacare, and leading Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer called the nomination “akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house,” dubbing Dr. Price “far out of the mainstream.”

More Americans oppose Obama’s signature health care law than approve of it.

With that said, here are three things to know of the man tapped to help replace it:

He’s a six-term congressman with wonkish ability

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The 62-year-old Price has served out of Georgia’s sixth district since 2005, serving on several committees, most recently as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He has been in government since 1997, when he served as a state senator in Georgia, and for years he’s been dubbed a tireless problem solver.

We can assume as the head of HHS, Price will be a key point man in drawing up the legislation responsible for Republicans delivering their coup de grâce as Obama’s signature health care law fades into the history books.

On Tuesday, Price released a statement promising  “to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors, that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness, and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.”

He has already introduced an alternative to the Affordable Care Act

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

In the 111th Congress, Price introduced legislation aptly titled the “Empowering Patients First Act.” It would have created tax credits for purchasing health insurance, allowed for interstate health insurance markets, and a reformation of medical malpractice laws.

It found support in a Senate version, which also included language mandating the right to individual and small employer membership associations, while still allowing for state-based high risk insurance. Funding for the bill was to be provided through future spending cuts, otherwise known as sequestration.

Rep. Paul Ryan, a Price ally who outlined an alternative of his own, is also expected to rally the House effort to put a new health care law into place.

He was a member of the Tea Party Caucus

Flickr/Fibonacci Blue

Flickr/Fibonacci Blue

Price is predictably right wing in his ideology, supporting a states’ rights position over federal mandates such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He is ardently anti-abortion, and anti-gun control in addition to voting the repealing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The congressman has been dedicated to fiscal responsibility, along with other tax reform conservatives in the Tea Party who advocated a slash in federal spending and limiting the scope of Washington’s rule. It is under this pretense that Price notified the country that “Obamacare is failing” while pushing for the privatization of Medicare.


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