Sources tell InsiderAdvantage that U.S. Congressman Tom Price of Georgia will be named as the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services later today.
Price, an orthopedist by trade, has long been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act and has since its implementation offered in-depth alternatives to Congress. In his new position Price would be tasked finding a replacement for ‘Obamacare’, which President-elect Trump has promised to dismantle with the aid of a Republican controlled Congress.
The job of Secretary of Health and Human Services though goes far beyond the Affordable Care Act. The department, which employs nearly 80,000 workers nationwide, also runs Medicare, Medicaid, and operates the Food and Drug Administration.
A tall task, to be sure, but one that Price will have no problem managing, according to U.S. Senator David Perdue, an ally of both Price and Trump.
Said Perdue on the nomination, “Tom is a fellow Georgian who understands that we need to stop Washington’s takeover of our health care system. As a doctor, he is seen as a leading voice on health care policy and has a common-sense plan to replace Obamacare that will lower costs and put patients in charge of their health care choices. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Tom, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will do a fantastic job improving our nation’s health care system and the lives of all Americans.”
With Price headed to Washington, eyes here in Georgia will turn to focus on who replaces him in District 6, a wealthy district which covers much of Atlanta’s northern suburbs. Competition figures to be fierce, with State Senate heavyweights Brandon Beach and Judson Hill rumored to be mulling bids along with former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel. Another name to watch is Tom Price’s wife, Betty, who has long been involved in politics and could use much of her popular husband’s campaign machine in her own bid.
Governor Nathan Deal will announce a date for the special election to fill Price’s seat sometime in the next two weeks. If past vacancies are any indication, expect him to give the field around 120 days to campaign.