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Obamacare critic Tom Price confirmed as US Health Secretary

Washington, Feb 10: The US Sete on Friday confirmed Representative Tom Price as Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, putting him in charge of President Dold Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The 62-year-old orthopaedic surgeon was confirmed by 52 votes to 47, after a debate that focused as much on his ethics and investments as on his views on health policy, the New York Times reported. As a Congressman he supported privatising Medicare, America’s public health insurance for the elderly. He proposed turning Medicaid, a programme for the poor, into a block grant — a change certain to precipitate cuts.

Price campaigned relentlessly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s sigture health law, which brought consumer protections and government subsidies to an unwieldy private insurance market. The law helped insure 20 million Americans.

Setor Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, said Price was “one of the most capable, well-prepared individuals that President Trump could have chosen.” Majority leader Setor Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said Price “knows more about healthcare policy than just about anyone”.

Democrats said Price, a House member since 2005, had shown bad judgement by actively trading shares of medical and pharmaceutical companies while shaping health policy in Congress.  (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita