Recently, President-Elect Trump selected Rep. Tom Price, MD to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Suffice it to say, this signals Mr. Trumps’ resolve and commitment to definitively repealing and replacing. Dr. Price has already sunk his teeth into health care reform, having proposed alternative healthcare solutions in every Congressional session since 2009. As a physician myself, I am delighted at the prospect of having another doctor at the helm of HHS. The last physician to lead HHS was Louis Sullivan, MD as part of the administration of George H.W. Bush. Having a physician, who can understand the needs of physicians and patients, representing both in health policy decision making at the federal level gives everyone the best chance for meaningful and successful health care reform.
Dr. Price is a third generation physician and a retired orthopedic surgeon with experience in clinical practice and academia before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. At his core, he has been a fierce critic of Obamacare. Dr. Prices’ most frequent objection to the ACA is the fact it hinders the ability of patients and physicians to be in control of medical decision making and puts the government squarely between doctors and patients. Amen! He understands the subtle distinction that while expanding coverage may provide insurance, it is in no way akin to delivering patients unfettered access to health care.