New Anti-Obamacare HHS Secretary Heading To Trump Admin After Senate Confirmation

After previous failed attempts to repeal Obamacare last year, President Trump looks poised to make 2018 the year to finally end it.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Alex Azar to head the Health And Human Services Department by a vote of 55 to 43 votes.

Daily Wire reports that Azar is anti-Obamacare:

Azar plans on focusing the HHS Department on tackling Obamacare as it crumbles under financial strain, according to a Washington Free Beacon report.

Azar told the Senate, “The Affordable Care Act has failed millions of Americans who have lost the plans they liked and the doctors they liked.”

Democrats criticized his stance on Obamacare, with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine claiming that he wants to “sabotage” the Affordable Care Act.

Check out this exchange:

“The Trump administration’s determination to destroy the Affordable Care Act through executive action has destabilized our health care system and threatened coverage for millions,” the former vice presidential candidate crooned.

Azar defended his position. “What I do not support is forcing 6.7 million Americans to pay $3 billion of penalties to not buy something they don’t want to buy through a mandate upon them, 90 percent of whom make $75,000 a year or less.”

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Daily Wire reports Azar promised to contest rising pharmaceutical drug prices:

Azar also touted his experience in the pharmaceutical industry, saying that he can help create policy that would lower prices of prescriptions.

He told the Senate, “So have I. Through my experience helping to implement Part D and with my extensive knowledge of how insurance, manufacturers, pharmacy and government programs work together, I believe I can bring skills and experiences to the table that can help address these issues.”

Utah GOP Senator Orrin Hatch praised Azar’s nomination. “You’re one of the best public servants that I’ve seen in the whole time that I’ve been here.”

And, via NPR:

Alex Azar, former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., was confirmed Wednesday as the secretary of health and human services.

In that role, he’ll oversee the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates prescription drugs including those produced by his former employer. He’ll also oversee Medicare and Medicaid, which together spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on prescription medications.

He’ll take over the agency at a time when rising drug prices are a huge political issue.

Here’s more on Azar’s previously political experience:

Before his stint at Eli Lilly, Azar served in HHS under President George W. Bush, so he is familiar with the sprawling agency that also includes the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service and the U.S. Public Health Service.

Azar replaces Tom Price, who resigned from HHS in September after a Politico investigation found that he had taken private charter aircraft on work-related trips at times when cheaper commercial flights were available.

CNN has even more:

Azar served as general counsel and deputy secretary of the agency under former President George W. Bush. He then joined Eli Lilly, becoming president of Lilly USA in 2012. As part of his role there, Azar was on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group. He left Lilly USA and BIO in January and now runs a consulting firm.

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