Trump announces pick for new Health and Human Services secretary on Twitter

Trump announces pick for new Health and Human Services secretary on Twitter

Trump announces pick for new Health and Human Services secretary on Twitter

If confirmed by the Senate, Azar would replace Tom Price, who resigned as secretary under pressure on September 29 after a series of stories in Politico documented his repeated use of private jets and government aircraft instead of commercial planes, at a cost of more than $400,000. Price racked up roughly $1 million in private and government air travel in just seven months, according to Politico. More recently, Azar served in many roles with Eli Lilly and Company, an worldwide pharmaceutical company, where as President of Lilly USA, he oversaw the substantial rise in drug prices while simultaneously serving on the board for the world's largest pharmaceutical lobby, Biotechnology Innovation Organization. "I don't think anybody can question his credentials from an experience perspective".

Azar has been critical of the Affordable Care Act and has said he supports healthcare block grants to states - an idea pushed by the Trump administration and many Republican governors, including Indiana's Gov. Eric Holcomb.

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Cummings and Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, previous year called for a federal probe into whether Eli Lilly, Sanofi SA, Merck & Co Inc and Novo Nordisk A/S colluded to set prices on insulin and other diabetes drugs. Investigations into Price's actions are ongoing. The complexity of pharmaceutical pricing has thwarted legislation to lower drug prices. He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!

Currently, Azar is the chairman and founder of Seraphim Strategies, which provides strategic consulting and counsel on biopharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

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Today President Donald Trump nominated Alex Azar to be the next U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). "Alex Azar will be able to hit the ground running, following his confirmation, in addressing the challenges facing Medicare and Medicaid and bringing a patient-centered, value-focused approach to healthcare policymaking".

"In his public statements, Alex Azar has made clear that he is opposed to measures to restrain prescription companies' profiteering and limit improper marketing, while favoring weaker safety approval standards".

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As head of HHS, Azar would have oversight responsibility for the US Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the drug industry including approving new treatments.

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