Trump Announces Price for HHS, Verma for CMS

The Georgia Congressman is a longtime critic of the Affordable Care Act.

Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a physician and frequent critic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for HHS secretary, the transition office announced early Tuesday.

“Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making the ideal choice to serve in this capacity,” Trump said in making the selection official.

In addition, the Trump transition office announced that healthcare consultant Seema Verma, MPH, would be nominated for the post of administrator of CMS, the key post that oversees Medicare and Medicaid, the 2 largest payer organizations in the country. Verma is founder and CEO of SVC, Inc.

Price, 62, is currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee and was an orthopedic surgeon for 2 decades before joining the House of Representatives. Price has repeatedly introduced legislation to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. In fact, he wrote the language for a bill that would employ budget reconciliation to defund the ACA, which is one of the most likely ways that Republicans will dismantle the law.

NPR took a look at Price’s voting record to see where he stood on issues and reported that he opposes abortion rights and voted against federal funding for abortion and groups like Planned Parenthood; voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation; voted against a law requiring the FDA to regulate tobacco as a drug.

Price received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Emory University. He spent 20 years in private practice and was an assistant professor at Emory before becoming a member of Congress, according to his biography.