'Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next Secretary, ' Trump tweeted Monday from the Philippines.
President Donald Trump has picked a pharma insider to oversee the HHS.
When he's pretending to be a populist, Trump has treated the pharmaceutical industry with public disdain. Still, drug pricing talk hasn't gotten serious in Congress and four Congressmen wrote to the president last month to say his "inaction" on their Medicare negotiation proposal has left them with no option other than to press ahead alone.
"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!", Trump exclaimed. Almost a month ago, reports surfaced that Azar was the frontrunner for the job; he's a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act; and he's a doctrinaire partisan on the Republican Party's regressive health care agenda, especially on issues such as gutting Medicaid through block grants.
Reacting to Azar's selection, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen.
The Trump administration's previous HHS secretary, Dr. Tom Price, resigned on September 29 after reports emerged he had traveled on chartered planes-for work and personal time-at the cost of at least $400,000 to taxpayers.
To be sure, Azar's nomination doesn't come as too big of a surprise.
Azar has argued against drug price controls in the past, Weissman said at the time, making it "highly unlikely" he would "advance real reform" on the issue.
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He claimed there was an "effort to shift the blame away from those who are really at fault here, and that is the Iranian regime". Mr Johnson has since said the government has "no doubt" she was on holiday "and that was the sole objective of her visit".