Final approval of President Donald Trump's choice for Health and Human Services secretary seems certain.
Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has long pushed for the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act -- President Barack Obama's health care law -- and major changes to Medicare and Medicaid, both of which are major features of the Republican agenda, the Associated Press reported.
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On Wednesday, the Senate voted 51-48 against Democratic delaying tactics against Price, opening the way for the former orthopedic surgeon and seven-term Congressman from Atlanta's suburbs to be confirmed as health secretary.
Republicans believe that once in that position, Price will have the Department of Health and Human Services issue directives weakening the Affordable Care Act. Such actions might include restricting access to free birth control for women who work for religious-affiliated nonprofits, and allowing states to test different ways to use federal Medicaid funds, the AP reported.
Price could also lead the way in implementing a still-undrafted Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
At Senate hearings on Price's nomination, Democrats accused Price of conflicts of interest in acquiring shares in health care companies, supporting legislation that could benefit those companies, and using insider information to make investments, the AP reported.
Price has said he's done nothing wrong and that the purchase was made by his stockbroker.
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