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FEDERAL | UPDATE: Hearings for HHS Nominee Congressman Tom Price's

Last Wednesday, the Senate HELP Committee held a nomination hearing for President-Elect Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During the hearing, Price indicated that he wanted an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to focus on expanding access to health insurance to all Americans and was asked about the President-Elect's plan not to cut Medicare.

According to Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), confirmation of Price's nomination may not come until mid-February. The extra time could be used to consult with governors about repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate Finance Committee has primary responsibility for the HHS nomination and has scheduled a hearing on Price's nomination for January 24th.

Despite broad-based support in the medical community – the American Medical Association and the Alliance of Specialty Medicine have supported Price's nomination – Price may face a difficult path to confirmation. The HHS nominee has faced scrutiny in recent weeks over his stock trades in health care companies while serving on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare spending. Price has recently vowed to divest his interests in health care companies if he is confirmed by the Senate for the cabinet position. In a letter to the HHS ethics office, Price also promised to resign as a delegate for the American Medical Association (AMA) if he is confirmed.