Washington DC (EFE).– The United States Senate confirmed early Friday the Republican congressman Tom Price as the new Health Secretary in President Donald Trump’s government.

As health secretary, Price is expected to manage the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare”, the health-care reform pushed through by former President Barack Obama.

With the support of 52 Republican votes, the 62-year-old Price’s appointment was confirmed during the early morning hours on Friday, making him among the candidates with the least support to join the government.

Democrats boycotted the confirmation process by absenting themselves from the voting process at Senate finance hearing, to prevent a quorum so that Republicans could not go ahead despite a majority.

However, the Republicans decided to change the rules of the committee and approved Price in the absence of the Democrats, a tactic that has been used for other appointments as well.

Democrats were demanding explanations from Price over the supposed buying of shares of certain pharmaceutical firms, days before supporting legislation in Congress that would benefit them, thus accusing him of misusing insider information.

Price is an orthopedic surgeon by profession, has been and a Republican Congressman from Georgia for 10 years. He was among the few congressmen who openly supported Trump during his presidential election campaign.

Moreover, with his experience as a legislator and his recent leadership of the House Budget Committee, Price is expected to help Trump bridge the gap with heavyweights in Congress and the Republican establishment, and fulfill the president’s promise of repealing Obamacare for something better.

Price, who does not have prior experience in the government, will now head the Department of Health and Human Services, which has a trillion-dollar budget, directed towards mainly Medicare and Medicaid services, which cover more than 100 million elderly or low-income citizens. EFE

© 2017 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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