President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to head the Department of Health and Human Services, two sources close to the transition told Fox News late Monday.
Trump was expected to formally announce Price’s nomination Tuesday morning.
If confirmed by the Senate, Price will play a central role in Republican efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Trump has pledged to move quickly on overhauling his predecessor’s signature measure, but has been vague about what he hopes to see in a replacement bill.
The president-elect has said he favors keeping provisions that allow young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance and that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
Price, a 62-year-old six-term congressman and orthopedic surgeon, has chaired the House Budget Committee for the past two years. A bookish conservative from the Atlanta suburbs, Price has worked closely with House Speaker Paul Ryan to assemble GOP budgets aimed at reducing the annual deficit.
Last week, Price said whatever Republicans do to replace Obama’s health care law will bear a “significant resemblance” to a 2015 measure that was vetoed by the president. That bill would have gutted some of the health care law’s main features: Medicaid expansion, subsidies to help middle-class Americans buy private policies, the tax penalties for individuals who refused to get coverage and several taxes to support coverage expansion. The bill would have delayed implementation for two years.
Price insisted that Republicans can keep the protections for those with existing medical conditions without mandating that all individuals carry coverage or pay a penalty to support an expanded insurance pool. Price said Republicans want to address “the real cost drivers” of health care price spikes, which he said were not necessarily sicker patients, but a heavy regulatory burden, taxes and lawsuits against medical professionals.
Fox News’ Serafin Gomez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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