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FEDERAL | Trump Nominates Price for Dept. of Health

President-Elect Trump announced his nomination of Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rep. Price is a six-term Congressman from Georgia and also currently serves as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Price, an orthopaedic surgeon, has been one of the most vocal critics of the Affordable Care Act and was one of the first members of Congress to produce an alternative plan during the initial health care debates in 2009 and 2010. Since passage of the 2010 law, Price has introduced his "Empowering Patients First Act," which shares many similarities with Speaker Ryan's "Better Way" health care reform proposal. The Trump campaign's health care proposal also mirrors many of Price's principles.

As Secretary, Rep. Price will have considerable jurisdiction over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its eminent replacement. Price's own ACA replacement bill offers health savings accounts, high-risk insurance pools and the sale of insurance across state lines. As Secretary, Price will have the legal authority to regulate Medicaid expansion and the individual health insurance mandate. His department will also run the online insurance marketplace, where patients purchase health insurance and obtain subsidies for coverage.

Price will also oversee the activities of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which updates the physician fee schedule. CMS is largely responsible for the implementation of the new payment system, MIPS, created under MACRA. The Secretary also supervises over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Price, 62, attended the University of Michigan for both college and medical school. He later completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta. Prior to serving in Congress, Dr. Price was the medical director for Grady Memorial Hospital's orthopaedic clinic in Atlanta. He will be the first physician to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since Louis Sullivan, MD, who held the position from 1989-1993 under President George H. W. Bush. The Senate is expected to confirm his nomination.