Congressman Adrian Smith praises the confirmation of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary.
Republicans used their majority numbers in the Senate to confirm President Trump’s nomination of Price without support from Democrats.
Smith served with Price on the Ways and Means Committee and calls him a sincere individual “who knows his stuff.”
“As a fairly recent practicing physician, that’s a pretty rare thing going over to the secretary’s office,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Obviously, the confirmation process has been rigorous and it really should be. Not advocating for all of the road blocks that have been thrown up there, but I think asking tough questions, that’s part of the process.”
A harsh critic of the Affordable Care Act, Price now has authority over the act, authority he likely will use to dismantle it.
Smith expects Price to make big changes.
“Obamacare was written to give the Secretary of Health and Human Services a great deal of authority and I think it’s only appropriate that he exercise that authority moving forward,” says Smith. “Now, it may not be in a direction that (former President) Barack Obama had anticipated back when he gave so much authority to the Health and Human Services Secretary, but I think that will be a huge help as we try to reverse this damage that’s been done to so many health care plans across America.”
The Senate approved Price Friday morning on a party-line 52-47 vote.
No Democrats voted for Price. In fact, they harshly criticized him, noting he is an adamant opponent to the Affordable Care Act. Democrats also questioned the personal investments of Price, claiming they raised ethical questions.
Price, a former Congressman from Georgia, is an orthopedic surgeon and served as chairman of the House Budget Committee.