Senate Confirms Tom Price as HHS Secretary

In a 52-47 party-line vote, the Senate confirmed Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Friday morning, Feb. 10.

Price strongly opposes the Affordable Care Act. While Senate Republicans believe he will bring stability to American health care markets, the Senate Democrats think he will weaken federal entitlement programs like the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Washington Post.

There’s a lot to look forward to with the new HHS secretary, according Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit that represents the large employer’s perspective on national health policy issues. He’s hopeful that the Trump administration will see the country toward a more effective, more efficient health care delivery system, he added.

“We do hope that the new administration and HHS will continue the transformation of Medicare away from fee-for-service, which drives unnecessary care and spending, toward paying for value, which improves both the quality and affordability of Medicare and has a positive spillover effect for private plans, including employer plans,” Marcotte said in an email interview.

Although the departments of Labor and Treasury have more direct regulatory authority over employer plans and the workplace, the HHS does have a considerable impact on employer health care benefit plans. The influence Price will have on health care extends to payment and delivery reform and how he prioritizes that as HHS secretary.

“Employer plans have been a source of innovation in health care and health benefits,” he added. “And we look forward to continuing to share best practices and recommendations with HHS and [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services].”

Andie Burjek is a Workforce associate editorComment below, or email at Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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Author: <div class="author_list_wrapper"><ul class="author_list"><li class="author_link"><a href="/bios/andie-burjek">Andie Burjek</a></li></ul><div>