With Obamacare on the Line, Price Vetting Process Longer Than Past Two HHS Nominees Combined

Posted: Jan 24, 2017 2:30 PM

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) returned to the Senate Finance Committee for the second time on Tuesday for what seems like an unending interrogation in his confirmation process to be the next HHS secretary. Chairman Orrin Hatch noted at the beginning of the hearing that Price's confirmation is now longer than the past two HHS nominees combined. Kathleen Sebelius waited 16 days for a vote, while Sylvia Burwell waited 17. Price submitted his paperwork for confirmation back on December 21 but his hearings weren't scheduled until January 17, meaning he has had to sit tight for 35 days.

It's not hard to figure out why Price's confirmation is being stalled and he is getting grilled so relentlessly: The fate of Obamacare is at stake.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was especially concerned about the White House's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, arguing no concrete plan is in its place.

“Whatever is left after the dust settles, is Trumpcare,” she said at Tuesday's hearing, demanding details from the nominee.

Price told the panel that Americans under Obamacare have nothing to fear.

"We need to make sure nobody loses their insurance or is unable to gain insurance because of pre-existing conditions," he told another Democratic senator, Bill Nelson. 

He added that he will implement Obamacare until Congress repeals it.

"Our commitment is to carry out the law of the land," he said.

Price's other Democratic critics brought up the controversial report that he was once guilty of insider trading by pushing legislation that would directly benefit a company in which he had purchased stocks. 

The facts suggest otherwise.