Senate Confirms Trump Nominee Alex Azar as Health Secretary

26 January, 2018, 02:40 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Alex Azar II testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington

The Senate confirmed Alex Azar on Wednesday as the next Department of Health and Human Services secretary.

Price, a former congressman, resigned in September after eight months on the job due to controversy over use of private planes for government travel using taxpayer money. Wednesday's vote marked the third time that Azar has won Senate confirmation.

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"Mr. Azar knows HHS inside and out following his tenure there under President George W. Bush, and I'm confident that he will hit the ground running as secretary", Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican who represents the Eastern Shore said in a statement.

Many Democrats rallied against Mr. Azar's nomination because of his previous experience as president of drugmaker Eli Lilly's US division, which they believe will limit his ability to reform prescription drug policy. Several patient and consumer advocacy groups opposed Azar's nomination because of drug price increases at Lilly under his watch. "And I am alarmed he may not stand up to President Trump's agenda driven by sabotage and ideology".

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For the previous year, Senator Baldwin has repeatedly called on the Trump administration to stop the sabotage of our nation's health care system.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only Republican to vote against the nomination. Azar's commitment to HHS" mission "to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, ' including unborn children and their mothers, is so encouraging. "Mr. Azar went through the revolving door from drug companies to the federal government".

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As HHS secretary, Azar will oversee Medicaid, Medicare, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that regulates prescription drugs. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "I think that broad expertise will serve him well, particularly at this critical time when the HHS secretary will need to be intensely focused on the opioid epidemic and other major problems facing our country". By contrast, he had received unanimous Senate support when he was nominated to serve as the department's general counsel in 2001, and then as the agency's No. 2 official in 2005. Azar responded that the number of employers believed to take advantage of the rule is overall small, but said "I do believe we have to balance of course a woman's choice of insurance that she would want with the conscience of employers and others".

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