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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 2, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 49
Trump's HHS pick threatens Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid
Section One
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Trump's HHS pick threatens Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Donald Trump announced on November 29 that he would name Georgia Rep. Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Trump's choice was immediately denounced by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Price is best known as the author of the so-called 'Empowering Patients First Act,' one of the dozens of Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare).

According to Vox magazine, Price is 'the HHS secretary you'd pick if you were dead serious about dismantling the law.'

Trump says Price 'is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American,' but he is likely to terminate coverage for millions of people now insured under the ACA.

Price's plan, which will now become government policy after Trump is sworn in, would replace the ACA with a plan that does more to benefit healthy, wealthy, and young Americans at the expense of the sick, old, and poor.

While it would not automatically terminate the ACA provision that insurance providers cover people with preexisting conditions - HIV for example - Price's plan would allow insurance companies to charge them much more unless they maintained what is called 'continuous coverage.'

In other words, if an individual changed jobs and therefore insurance policies, or lost their job, resulting in a gap in insurance coverage, their new insurance company could raise premiums without any restrictions.

The 'continuous coverage' provision is also a key part of the ACA replacement advocated by House Speaker Paul Ryan, so it is very likely to be a part of future national health care proposals.

Price's plan also calls for the full repeal of the Medicaid expansion, a program that currently covers millions of low-income Americans.

Price has a 0 rating from HRC, meaning that he opposed LGBT rights at literally every opportunity, and an equally low rating from Planned Parenthood.

'Just lies,' Sanders says No sooner did Trump name Price to the HHS spot than Bernie Sanders denounced him.

'Donald Trump asked workers and seniors to vote for him because he was the only Republican candidate who would not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid - programs that are of life-and-death importance for millions of Americans,' Sanders said in a November 29 statement.

'Now, he has nominated a person for secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, who has a long history of wanting to do exactly the opposite of what Trump campaigned on.'

Trump should publicly admit that his promises 'were just lies,' Sanders added.

'Rep. Price has a long history of wanting to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. What hypocrisy! Mr. Trump needs to tell the American people that what he said during the campaign were just lies, or else appoint an HHS secretary who will protect these programs and do what Trump said he would do,' he said.

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Trump appoints crocodiles to Treasury and Commerce departments

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Democrat now 10,000 votes ahead, margin blocks recount

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