Tom Price was confirmed to lead the Department of Health and Human Services last week. The Daily Signal’s Melissa Quinn reports why this is significant.

Now, as the health and human services chief, Price can begin fulfilling a years long goal of unwinding Obamacare. But instead of dismantling the health care law from the halls of Congress, he’ll be acting from inside the agency that oversaw its implementation.

An orthopedic surgeon who served more than a decade in the House, Price has spent the last seven years in Congress opposing the Affordable Care Act. The new HHS secretary introduced his own health care plan in 2009—he’s reintroduced that same proposal, the Empowering Patients First Act, in every Congress since then.

…even as congressional Republicans finalize their course for unwinding the law, Price can now use his executive power to begin chipping away at Obamacare’s framework.

With Congress continuing to drag their feet on Obamacare repeal, Price has a tremendous opportunity to move forward the dismantling of this law.

What do you think Tom Price’s priorities should be for the Department of Health and Human Services?

Comments (62)

Pops LeBlanc - February 17, 2017

Step One: by March 1, eliminate 15% of workforce co$t by dumping bodies and delayering at least 2 levels of management. Get decision making closer to him. Don’t care about quality. Wipe out the layers. A few good people will be cut – but it doesn’t matter.
Step two: repeal and replace Obamacare
Step three: eliminate another 15% of the workforce by October 1.

Simple, effective re-engineering. Every Federal department should do the same. Can’t crush wasteful spending until you get rid of the spenders.

Jemele Sanderson - February 17, 2017

REPEAL Obamacare.

FIX the original problems:
1) Pre-existing/high risk needs
2) Individual access to all health insurance companies across state borders
3) Portability to all 50 states

Then government OUT of our health care

Buddy Jones - February 17, 2017

While it is great that Mr. Price can change many things in Ocare these things are easily undone with a change of administrations. Our elected officials need to change the laws allowing (and repeal Ocare) a total change in infrastructure with patients coming first and national competition with insurance companies. this will allow insurance companies to innovate need specific plans within the guidelines of the laws passed by our elected representatives. In the future any attempted changes by future administrations will be seen as an assault on insurance plans that consumers are comfortable.

Don Leeber - February 17, 2017

How, specifically to rid ourselves of the monstrosity, ACA, is ‘above my pay grade’, but I’m thrilled we have someone who knows the terrain and who has a plan and a vision.

Kent Norby - February 17, 2017

Begin advertising alternatives to Obamacare to American citizens. Instead of re-applying last December I took out a $2 million temporary health plan anticipating the demise of Obamacare. Thanks for hedging my bets!

Charles Alexander - February 17, 2017

His first priorities should be to make the uninsured whole again as soon as humanly possible. I’m sure he knows how to do his. He needs to move fast and tweak it later.

Russell Wilson - February 17, 2017

1. Repeal Obamacare outright – Get the Government out of Healthcare.
2. Implament a step by step logical replacement.
3. Downsize the Agency to a realistic and manageable size.

Please be the model for restructuring of ALL Federal agencies

Judi Bowen - February 17, 2017

Do whatever it takes to efficiently and quickly take down “Obamacare” and fix the original problems eg. pre-existing needs, health insurance access across state borders, portability to all states. No interference in our health care. Thank you Mr. Price!

David Salyer - February 17, 2017

Congress must get on with repeal and replace of the Un-affordable health care act.!
My adult grandchildren can get only part time jobs as a result of a stipulation in the act. They cannot live off that! Plus they are counted as employed!
Need portability from job to job.

Sandra Schneider - February 17, 2017

Since one of the problems appears how to cover the kids up to 26 and covering pre-existing condition, why can’t the gov. just pass a bill stating the insurance co’s have to have one policy that covers these things, along with many different levels of coverage?

Paul Terry Stone - February 17, 2017

Dismantle the areas in his authority and not requiring Congressional approval. Hopefully the law will be a shell by that time and if Congress gets around to repealing it, there won’t be much left anyway.

calvin pauley - February 17, 2017

Repeal Obamacare. Make regulations that insurance companies can follow for pre existing conditions and coverage for until 26 years old, make sure that the inflated cost of insurance of people does NOT GO UP as we get older. Then open up insurance to competition and leave the rest to the markets.

Dan Borgnaes - February 17, 2017

It must be paid for!
The decisions for health care must be decided by the doctor and the patient, not the government.

Robert Jones - February 17, 2017

I believe Mr. Price will give us better choices, reasonable prices and better all around health Insurance.

Daniel W. Lewis - February 17, 2017

forget replace for now

REPEAL OBAMA CARE NOW

CONFIRM ALL APPOINTEE’S NOW

Alice Cone - February 17, 2017

I agree with almost all of the previous comments, especially Russell Wilson. The government has no business being involved in healthcare. I am a free-market believer. If the insurance companies are allowed to really compete, I feel sure they can provide a multitude of plans which most everyone can afford. I wonder how much the lawmakers have talked with the insurance providers.

jerman stein - February 17, 2017

Fantastic to have great man helping to get the great USA back on track.
God first
Freedom and the American Dream.

Richard G Edmonds - February 17, 2017

Get politicians out of the process altogether. Let those whose jobs have been in the health care industry formulate possibilities and agree, among themselves first, then bring in Congress to help approve a plan that could have access nationwide.

James Mullins. Sr - February 17, 2017

Repeal the Law entirely. Then work with States to establish free markets like we had before Obamacare. Let the free market work & let each citizen choose thier level of need.

Charles Fickling - February 17, 2017

After Obamacare is repealed and our Congress gets off their behind and replaces it, every effort should be made to remove Government from healthcare. 14 million people are on Medicad already and 6 million people don’t want insurance. Let the free market compete for the rest.

Pat - February 17, 2017

stop hurting our seniors by cutting Medicare to give everything to those getting Medicaid. Why do they get more benefits than those of us (and our employers) who were taxed for Medicare coverage our entire working lives.

Gregory Roberts - February 17, 2017

Democrats are trying to back Republicans into a corner where a full replacement to Obamacare needs to be defined before Obamacare can be terminated. This is a false choice.

Obamacare should be fully repealed in the 2017 budget, effective in 2018, and replacement components should be passed sequentially to dovetail into the end of Obamacare in 2018. This will provide stability in the insurance markets.

There is absolutely no need for government healthcare. Instead, adjustments should be implemented to the individual market to ensure
 no preconditions in the individual market (they were already precluded in the employer market),
 affordability (increased competition, group plans in the individual market, allow people to stay on their parents plans until age 26, and provide tax subsidies in the individual market to mirror those already in the employer market),
 and Medicaid insurance for those who truly can’t afford health insurance.

Note that pre-Obamacare the individual market was only 15% of the total market. There were no problems in the employer market.

Also note that the vast majority of people who gained health insurance “due to Obamacare” were actually dumped into Medicaid.
 11.8 million went into Medicaid – didn’t need Obamacare to do this.
 2.3 million stayed on parent’s plans – didn’t need Obamacare to do this.
 7.6 million were dumped from employer plans and entered Obamacare – no net gain.
 Result: Obamacare insured 22-11.8-2.3-7.6 = 0.3 million people newly insured because of Obamacare.

Joe Ann Ryan - February 17, 2017

Get rid of it. Replace it with a positive workable plan.

Edward Jonson - February 17, 2017

Get top-level personnel who will fully support repeal and replace with real affordable health care options.

JERRY GARICH - February 17, 2017

All coverage should be run like the medicare advantage plans, assuring competition of insurance plans based on cost and quality ratings. Government pays a base amount and patients pay a certain amount for basic plans. more services = more cost to patients. Government is quality watchdog that assures plans meet clinical quality criteria-standards for healthcare providers like CMS for hospitals etc for am care.

Jerry Metcalf - February 17, 2017

Start to unravel obamacare from within.

Sonie Thompson - February 17, 2017

Stop gov’t from being our caretaker!
Repeal the ACA.
Stop the IRS from fining people if they don’t have health care!
Reduce ALL medical costs across the board!
Let people buy HC Insurance from all states and make it work!
Reduce costs in HHS by downsizing this department. All of gov’t should operate with this goal in mind.
Years ago, costs were such that I only had major medical, and I was able to pay my bills!

Phillip Barbour - February 17, 2017

First and foremost, get the government OUT of health care where it did NOT belong to begin with!
As humanely as possible, stop and REVERSE the flow of ILLEGAL aliens before they bankrupt the health care system AND the United States of America.

ken struttmann - February 17, 2017

I like Gregory Roberts’s analysis and comments. Also, Senator Rand Paul seems to have some good ideas and working with Tom Price should come up with the best plan for all U.S citizens. The cost of Illegal immigrants’ and refugees visits to clinics and hospitals also must be resolved in an overall plan. To me, competitive market-based Insurance plans will be the best. These are smart people and they want to make money for their shareholders. . Government should have a very small role In our healthcare. God Bless Trump and the USA.

Allen Simon - February 17, 2017

1) Work with Congress to put a single repeal/repace bill in front of the President ASAP. Take the good free market ideas in the competring proposals, and use them all.
2) Do the delayering PopLeBlanc suggests, but design a fair process first. Take the time to enlist the help of people who work in these layes to help. Anything else appears unnecessarily heartless, and subjects you to delaying lawsuits. Don’t fire the people who agree with you, enlist their help instead.

Sharon Pelletier - February 17, 2017

Tom Price knows what he has to do … he’s aware of the problems and introduced a proposal in 2009.
Take charge of the items he has control over, eliminate Obamacare, and replace it with a workable, efficient plan for the employer, the employee, and those who need assisted care via government sponsored funding.

Ron W. Smith - February 17, 2017

There’s no doubt his #1 priority has to be health care, whether it be the ACA, Medicaid, or Medicare. None of these is perfect, each is in some way(s) flawed. How Price goes about working on and with each of those, he will have a mine field to navigate. Just for instance, in a take-down of the ACA and a build-up of its replacement, affordability, completeness of coverage, portability, and pre-existing conditions will keep him more than busy. Flawed though the ACA is, it is possible to create, in its place even worse. The arguments for change in any of these should be public before passage since Americans have much either to lose or gain.

J. Bruce Gabriel - February 17, 2017

Secretary Price should concentrate on getting Obamacare expunged from the books of the federal government. He should also concentrate on drastically reducing the Welfare budget. Drug testing for Welfare recipients and a work requirement in order to get on Welfare sound like great ideas. Decentralizing the DHS and the rest of the federal beast back to the states sound like a great ideas as well. As President Coolidge once said:

“No method of procedure has ever been devised by which liberty could be divorced from local self-government. No plan of centralization has ever been adopted which did not result in bureaucracy, tyranny, inflexibility, reaction, and decline. Of all forms of government, those administered by bureaus are about the least satisfactory to an enlightened and progressive people. Being irresponsible they become autocratic, and being autocratic they resist all development. Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy. It is the one element in our institutions that sets up the pretense of having authority over everybody and being responsible to nobody.”

Jim Keller - February 17, 2017

Congrat’s to Tom Price for a grueling battle with the Dem’s during confirmation. Repeal and Replace Obamacare as fast as possible should be done next.

Tom Lanners - February 17, 2017

1.Get rid of all the regulations of O’Bama care that he possibly can.
2. Return as many functions of his Department
to the States as possible, whether they want them or not.
3. Review every part of the Department and what they do, and eliminate as many people as possible.
3 Won’t happen, but if he gets 1 and 2 done, Hallelujah!

Anna M. Ferguson - February 17, 2017

I’d like to see insurance companies present group plans that are AFFORDABLE, EXPAND COVERAGE, and UP the DENTAL INSURANCE COVERAGE.. Almost every company I explored for my small business were outrageously priced with inadequate coverage.

Gayle Peters - February 17, 2017

Dr. Price, please, work quickly to repeal and replace the ACA. The longer it takes the less chance you have of getting anything done. The people in congress only think from one election to the next and all those people hired to enforce it should be shrunk. Efficiency and speed would be an answer to a prayer. Insurance should be there for everyone.

Ann Hilburn - February 17, 2017

First, I don’t remember anything in our constitution that our federal government is to be involved in the health care business. Second, our government has allowed the pharmaceutical industry and the allopathic medical system to have a monopoly on our “:sickness-care” health program. I recommend we change the direction and give us the choice to be in a “health-care” managed system, and not just the “sickness-care” system that we now have. Currently our health-care system only pays if we go to an MD and if we take pharmaceutical drugs (which I don’t); vaccinations (which I don’t), or surgery. So, even though I am a senior, the current program does not benefit me as I pay out of pocket to keep my body healthy by eating healthy food and taking plant-based supplements, or supplements that are not synthetic, man-made supplements.

Ken Galica - February 17, 2017

Eliminate all federal funding for abortion.

Sherry Scoffield - February 17, 2017

I agree also with most of the comments so you don’t need more of the same. Repeal Obamacare, cover pre-existing conditions, free market across state lines, get the government OUT of health insurance. But also Medicare patients – seniors – absolutely need to be able to have access to good doctors. Doctors have been dropping medicare patients for several years now and that needs to be reversed. The government does not get to decide who gets care and who doesn’t.

Mary Walls - February 17, 2017

While removing Obamacare and building a sensible pathway for all privately owned insurance coverage and insurance savings accounts make it impossible for all illegals to purchase medical insurance or access tax payer provided
( Medicare/Medicaid ) once and for all. Close all loopholes.

Gary Brown - February 17, 2017

As a constitutional conservative my concern is our own republican leadership and where there loyalties’ lie. It seems that we should have had a replacement policy for Obama Care and that they’ve had 8 years to promote “it” so that we could hit the ground running when the opportunity arises [that time is now] !! Very disconcerting!!!

Don W Kincaid - February 17, 2017

I’m sure the new Sec knows what is needed
to be changed and what should be repealed. So lets get the ball rolling!

Bill Coates - February 17, 2017

Drug testing for Welfare recipients would reduce the amount of misspent taxpayer money, as would an end to free medical treatment for noncitizens. The legalization of marijuana is a very bad trend with its own adverse health consequences.
Making hospital charges for various surgeries and treatments publicly available would help eliminate the unnecessary use of wasteful pre-packaged, disposable ‘kits’ of tools and accessories.

Donald W. Collins - February 17, 2017

and sent it back to congress to pass. Obama Care replaced a bill giving our war herroes a tax break when buying a new home. They were able to do this because the Democratic Party was in charge of the House and Senate. Not one republican voted for Obama Care. Now you know why !

!

Robert Ewald - February 17, 2017

Mr. Price can immediately rescind any implementing regulations authored by his department. Killing two(regulations) birds with each stone as recommended by President Trump.

Patricia Mannel - February 17, 2017

First and foremost ‘Completely Repeal Obamacare’. Eliminate the unnecessary workers! No government involvement in healthcare.

Glynnda White - February 17, 2017

Price is a good pick. He is going to be a formidable force to deal with and the fact that he can work on Obamacare without going through the cowards in congress is a big plus….
Priorities:
1. Block grant all medical monies to the states according to actual citizen population. States that wish to harbor and fund illegal aliens can pay for it themselves and explain it to their constituents. The one problem I see with that will be people who voted blue and ruined their states will then leave those states for red states and start voting democrat, thus ruining their new place to live…and ours.
2. Wipe out state boundaries for insurance providers.
3. Allow HSA accounts to be opened for every US citizen that the government partially funds and they partially fund annually. This can be done by them and/or their employer as benefits.
4. Allow all CITIZENS under the age of 40 to begin saving toward their own health care upon their retirement and phase out medicare. (Do the same with SS as a retirement option)

Joline Tate - February 17, 2017

COMLETELY REPEAL Obamacare. Let those currently enrolled remain for 2 years while Congress works on market based solutions. After 2 yrs, transition those still on Obamacare to market based plan of their choice. HAVE Congress pass law that government can never again get involved in healthcare.

Robert Samuels - February 17, 2017

Where is the bill? Republicans promise to have the repeal of Obama Care on the new President’s desch on day 1. REPEAL IT ALL REPEAL IT NOW DON’T DELAY… I understand that S222, Rand Paul Bill would make a good and understandable replacement Health Care bill. JUST DO IT!!!!!!

Abigail Nobel - February 17, 2017

Repeal.
Return to the states.
Stop confusing insurance and welfare.
Return to private charity and local solutions. They may fail, but never with as much damage as federal programs.

Delvin Paul Tingwall - February 18, 2017

Drain the swamp in DHHS through budget cuts and attrition much like LeBlanc suggests. Obviously, repeal and replace ACA is #1 priority. Like others, I am disappointed that congress did not have a bill drafted and ready to go after the election. Ultimately, reduce the federal government’s role in health care and give it back to the states. I am apposed to the idea of block grants. Why have the government take our money and give it back to us at 50 cents on the dollar. Just leave the money with the states in the first place. Same goes for all the out of control bureaucracies, particularly Education and the EPA. The cost of federal government would go down accordingly.

Mary Roloff - February 18, 2017

Why can’t he set up a separate pool of funds for those with preexisting conditions where employers pay so much, say a set amount of their total expenditure, into a pool (whether they have employees with preexisting conditions or not), and it’s matched by fed funds and held for the company to use if/when they end up hiring a person with preexisting conditions. That way they can spread the cost over all employees over many years hopefully keeping the costs low for all.
Also, why are we covering our children until they are 26? They are young and healthy and ADULTS and should be able to obtain affordable healthcare through their workplace. My kids are working and are covered. Are kids no longer working or even looking?
Obamacare was never designed to work. It was designed to collapse and force America into one payer, socialized medicine. So far, it seems to be working exactly the way the designers intended…..

Anthony Landry - February 18, 2017

You cannot FIX Obama care, it has to be completely REPEALED. Any fixing of Obama care will just leave it open to be changed in the future by other administrations. Price can cut all the funding, which is good, but it has to be taken off the books completely and all its workers released to truly bring the cost to back where it was and that money put back into the hands of the people. Let the working public and retired Americans buy there own health care. Those who are too last to work, well let them take care of themselves, not me.

John C. Nelson - February 18, 2017

#1 REPEAL Obamacare, Let the FREE
MARKET Rule. Open the heath insurance industry to ALL 50 States. Remember nothing in life is Guaranteed !! Minnesota was able to operate a ” HIGH RISK POOL”
succesfully for years. Remember Tax Payers. Republicans have TOTAL CONTROL, Keep the Pressure on YOUR Elected Senators & Repersentives.
REPUBLICANS RULE !!!

e pluribus unum - February 18, 2017

Let private citizens buy their health insurance with pre-tax dollars as business does. Let people buy it across state lines.
Get rid of whatever mandates are on the plans so people can be offered a buffet of options and buy the ones that fit them.
Return it to being “insurance” and not a health-care/sick-care payment plan that is expected to cover everything from cancer to the sniffles. If someone WANTS to pay for a plan that cevers the sniffles they can be expected topay the much higher premiums to cover that.

HAROLD BLOOD - February 18, 2017

EVERY PART OF OBAMACARE HE CAN DISMANTLE AS SECRETARY HE SHOULD PROCEED TO DO

Henry C. Holder - February 19, 2017

(1) Get rid of Obamacard
(2) Get with the group developing the new health care program so he will be part of it and provide medical information as needed.

Ralph DeSorbo - February 19, 2017

Rapidly replace obamacare with coverage carefully tailored to the needs of the population at an affordable price with immediate pre-existing condition acceptance.

Lamar Cornwell - February 19, 2017

I trust Dr. Price’s Plan!

john w w taylor - February 20, 2017

Put a stop to the big pharms having control of the F D A stop all funding for planned parenthood get control of all the Bad prescription drugs that are killing 128000 people a year in America stop all ads on tv for drugs get control of drug prices

Lou Crane - February 20, 2017

As I read the late drafts and the final ACA law, I noted that many times the law excluded Congress, the Supreme Court and/or the Executive from authority to interfere with the Director of HHS. ONLY the Director had power over actions and funding!
Our new Director can change these things on the sole power to do so.
I have great hope he will.

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