From former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s Facebook page:
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), an orthopedic surgeon who has been one of Capitol Hill’s fiercest critics of President Obama’s health care law, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, a person briefed on the decision just confirmed. As secretary, Mr. Price would be responsible for a department with an annual budget of more than $1 trillion, health programs that insure more than 100 million Americans, and agencies that regulate food and drugs and sponsor much of the nation’s biomedical research.
Price is a fierce right-winger who:
1. Opposes abortion. Price supported the proposed Protect Life Act, which would have denied funding to health care plans that offered abortion and allowed hospitals to decline to provide emergency abortion care. He has a 100 rating from the National Right to Life Center and a 0 rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
2. Opposes gun control. He has an “A” grade from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, a 92% approval rating overall from the National Rifle Association and an 83% approval rating from the Gun Owners of America. And he has a 0% approval rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Price praised the Supreme Court’s decisions in “District of Columbia v. Heller,” which held that the prohibition of handguns in the District of Columbia was unconstitutional, and “McDonald v. Chicago,” which held that the Second Amendment applied to the states.
3. Opposes gay rights. Price voted against a bill prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation and in favor of constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. He has a zero percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.
4. Wants tax credits and deductions for purchasing health insurance, instead of federal subsidies. Tax credits and deductions are not useful to most of the poor and working class, because they don’t earn enough to take advantage of them.
5. Has introduced legislation that would make it easier for doctors to defend themselves against medical malpractice lawsuits and to enter into private contracts with Medicare beneficiaries. Under such contracts, doctors can, in effect, opt out of Medicare and charge more than the amounts normally allowed by the program’s rules.
Price is likely to be the Trump Administration’s point man on turning Medicaid into state block-grants, and Medicare (and Obamacare) into vouchers for private insurance — proposals Paul Ryan is championing in the House.
Price joins a growing list of horrendous Trump picks.