President-elect Donald Trump is considering Rep. Tom Price, the powerful Republican orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, as a potential HHS secretary, according to news reports.
Price has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, which Trump promised to repeal on the campaign trail, but he has since softened on the idea of replacing it completely. Price sponsored healthcare legislation that would repeal the ACA and provide refundable tax credits adjusted by age, not income, to buy health insurance. However, the Congressional Budget Office has not scored the budgetary impacts of that legislation.
Like other conservatives, Price also has supported broader use of health savings accounts and capping the tax break for employer-based coverage.
On health payment reform, Price voted for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, also known as MACRA. The bipartisan law replaced Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula and has been widely supported by many sectors of the healthcare industry as a way to continue moving away from fee-for-service medicine and toward value-based care. However, in October, Price aired some concerns over provisions he believed could increase administrative tasks and “ultimately threaten the doctor-patient relationship.”
Other speculated picks for Trump's HHS secretary include former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Dr. Ben Carson, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination, told The Hill Tuesday he will not serve in the Trump administration.