Visionary Policy Wonk Or Day-To-Day Boss: What Will Price’s HHS Role Look Like?
Politico talks to former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle about what kind of HHS secretary Rep. Tom Price will turn out to be. Meanwhile, Price's stock portfolio includes investments in pharmaceutical, medical device, and health insurance companies, which could raise conflicts of interest questions.
Does Trump Need A Health Care Czar?
Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run HHS, is facing an early test: How to repeal and replace Obamacare when congressional Republicans and Trump aren't necessarily on the same page. "It's going to be very difficult," former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told POLITICO's "Pulse Check" podcast. For instance, Trump's pledge to keep Obamacare's consumer protections raises complicated questions around how to pay for those provisions — "and that's just for starters." (Diamond, 12/1)
Rep. Tom Price Investments Raise Conflict Of Interest Questions
The public spotlight may be on President-elect Donald Trump’s conflicts of interests, but his nominee to be secretary of health and human services, Rep. Tom Price, could have conflicts of his own. Price’s wealth pales in comparison with Trump’s. The orthopedic surgeon, first elected to Congress from Georgia in 2004, is ranked as only the 50th richest member of Congress by the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call. But his stock portfolio includes investments in pharmaceutical, medical device, and health insurance companies, the heart of the industries he would be overseeing as secretary. (Kaplan, 12/2)
The Washington Post:
Trump To GOP: Here’s How To Defend My Cabinet Picks
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has provided detailed instructions to congressional Republicans on how to defend his Cabinet picks, including directions to portray his attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), as a strong defender of civil rights and to play up South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s Indian heritage as evidence of Trump’s purported commitment to a diverse administration. ... [The memo says] "Congressman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on quality health care policy, making him the perfect choice to serve in President-elect Trump’s cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services." (Snell and Viebeck, 12/1)
In other news about the incoming administration —
Veterans Groups Fear Trump Will 'Burn Down' VA
Donald Trump won the White House pledging to use his business acumen to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs, the poster child for government mismanagement — even if he has to "pick up the phone and fix it myself." But Trump’s leading candidates to run the troubled Cabinet department strike fear in many veteran's advocates, current and former agency officials and members of Congress, who worry that the new administration will aim to gut the VA and privatize many of its services. (Bender, 12/2)
Trump’s Anti-Pot Attorney General Choice Rattles Legal Marijuana Movement
Legal pot's future is in a haze, thanks to President-elect Trump's nomination of a staunchly anti-marijuana lawmaker for attorney general. “Good people don't smoke marijuana," said Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions in an April Senate hearing. (Hughes, 12/1)