The Senate approved a leading critic of the Affordable Care Act to be the nation’s top health official early Friday, following a heated debate over his potential ethics violations and his conservative policy positions.
Rep. Tom Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon and seven-term Republican from Atlanta, was President Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
Price, who opposes abortion and federal funding of Planned Parenthood, is expected to loosen ACA regulations and to work with Congress to overhaul the law.
Senators confirmed his nomination by a strictly party-line 52-47 vote after a debate that lasted until nearly 2 a.m. ET.
Price’s supporters in Congress have touted him as about the most capable person possible to be HHS secretary. As the former chairman of the House Budget Committee, Price “has a thorough understanding of health care policy and the damage that Obamacare has caused.”
“He can see the view from the doctor’s office as well as from the lawmaker’s office and will be an excellent partner as Congress works to rescue Americans trapped in the failing Obamacare system and to build better health care systems,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement Friday.