Help Block Tom Price as Next HHS Secretary

By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

Tom Price

Tom Price, President-elect Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Photo credit: District Office of Tom Price.

We cannot achieve health justice unless everyone living in the U.S. has access to high quality, affordable healthcare. For many years, we have spoken out about the need for universal healthcare and the Affordable Care Act was an important first step in the right direction, expanding life-saving coverage for millions of people in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) works to “protect the health of all Americans”, with particular emphasis on “those who are least able to help themselves,” by providing essential human services including healthcare coverage to more than 100 million people.

This is a vitally important federal agency that affects the health of millions, which is why we are outraged that President-elect Donald Trump has picked Tom Price to lead the HHS. As the head of the agency in charge of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Marketplace, Price will be charged with writing the rules to implement any changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”), which has expanded healthcare access to millions of people. But Price’s track record makes it abundantly clear that he will not protect the health and well-being of all Americans, especially the most vulnerable.

Here are some of the ways Price’s confirmation would harm women at risk of and living with breast cancer:

  • He has worked to end health coverage for millions of people. As a Senator, he repeatedly voted against the ACA and has vowed to repeal it. His proposed replacement does not address the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, without which some 15 million low-income people would lose coverage.
  • His proposed plan to replace to the ACA would discriminate against cancer patients by failing to ensure coverage for pre-existing conditions (like cancer). Not only would his plan allow insurers to exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions, it would also let them charge people much higher premiums for having one.
  • His proposed plan to replace the ACA would shift costs from insurance companies onto patients. In addition to reinstating annual and lifetime limits to coverage, his plan would remove limits on out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments. His proposed expansion of health savings accounts, often paired with high deductible health plans, further shifts the financial burden to individuals and families.
  • He has failed to uphold strong scientific standards as a member of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a group that falsely claims abortion causes breast cancer.

We need a Health and Human Services Secretary who will ensure that all Americans have adequate and affordable health coverage, including women at risk of and living with breast cancer.

Price is not that Secretary. His proposals put wealth before health, and his anti-science positions fail women. Tell the Senators holding his hearing to do everything in their power to block his confirmation.

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Price’s nomination on Wednesday, January, 18 at 10 a.m. ET.

Starting today pease call members of this Committee in this order of priority:

  • If you live in a Committee member’s state—calls from constituents are very effective.
  • Call the Chair of the Committee regardless of where you live—the Chair is responsible for taking into account concerns about the Committee.
  • If you can, call all the members of the Committee—the more members in the Committee you speak to, the better!

Here are the Committee members:

  • Chair: Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202) 224-4944
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (202)-224-6665
  • Michael Bennet (D-CO) (202) 224-5852
  • Christopher Murphy (D-CT) (202) 224-4041
  • Johnny Isakson (R-GA) (202) 224-3643
  • Todd Young (R-IN) (202) 224-5623
  • Pat Roberts (R-KS) (202) 224-4774
  • Rand Paul (R-KY) (202) 224-4343
  • Bill Cassidy (R-LA) (202) 224-5824
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (202) 224-4543
  • Susan Collins (R-ME) (202) 224-2523
  • Al Franken (D-MN) (202) 224-5641
  • Richard Burr (R-NC) (202) 224-3154
  • Maggie Hassan (D-NH) (202) 224-3324
  • Robert Casey (D-PA) (202) 224-6324
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) (202) 224-2921
  • Tim Scott (R-SC) (202) 224-6121
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (202) 224-5251
  • Tim Kaine (D-VA) (202) 224-4024
  • Bernie Sanders (D-VT) (202) 224-5141
  • Patty Murray (D-WA) (202) 224-2621
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) (202) 224-5653
  • Michael Enzi (R-WY) (202) 224-3424

Sample Call Script:

Hello, my name is [your name] and I am calling regarding the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the nomination of Tom Price to be the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  [If you vote in the Senator’s state, say: I am a constituent of {Senator’s name}].

I want [Senator’s name] to do everything in their power to block Tom Price from leading HHS. As someone [explain how you’ve been affected by breast cancer or why you care about the breast cancer epidemic], access to health care is very important to me. We need a Health and Human Services Secretary who will ensure that everyone in the U.S. has adequate and affordable health coverage, including women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Price is not that Secretary. His proposals put wealth before health, and his anti-science positions fail women. I urge Senator [Senator’s name] to stand up for women’s health and oppose Price’s nomination. Thank you.

NEXT STEP! Click here to help block Scott Pruitt as the next EPA administrator.

This entry was posted in BCA Action Alerts, BCA News.