Representative Tom Price, President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has a word he uses often when he talks about his vision for health care in the United States: “access.”
“Access” kept coming up as the Georgia Republican answered questions from the Senate Finance Committee at his confirmation hearing Tuesday. Senator Ron Wyden asked Price if people would be worse off under the executive order Trump penned right after his inauguration, which instructs agencies to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the [Affordable Care Act].” Wyden is asking, essentially, if Price would stop enforcing Obamacare, and if so, if people would suffer.
Price had this to say: “What I want I commit to, Senator, is working with you and every single member of Congress to make certain we have the highest quality health care and that every single American has access to affordable coverage.”
He repeated a different version of the same promise a few more times during the hearing, saying, “What I commit to the American people is to keep patients at the center of health care. And what that means to me is making certain every single American has access to affordable health coverage,” and, “There are so many things that we ought to be focusing on to make certain again that the American people have access to the highest quality care that's affordable for them.” At another confirmation hearing last week, Price struck a similar tone, saying the government should ensure that all Americans “have the opportunity to gain access” to insurance coverage .