Tom Price (American politician)
|23rd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services|
February 10, 2017
|Deputy||Eric Hargan (Nominee)|
|Preceded by||Sylvia Mathews Burwell|
|Chair of the House Budget Committee|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Paul Ryan|
|Succeeded by||Diane Black|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 6th district
January 3, 2005 – February 10, 2017
|Preceded by||Johnny Isakson|
|Succeeded by||Karen Handel|
|Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 56th district
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Sallie Newbill|
|Succeeded by||Dan Moody|
|Born||Thomas Edmunds Price
October 8, 1954
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
|Education||University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BA, MD)|
|Net worth||$10 million|
Thomas Edmunds Price (born October 8, 1954) is an American orthopedic physician and Republican politician who is currently the 23rd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district, encompassing the northern suburbs of Atlanta from 2005 until he resigned in 2017 to become Health Secretary. Price served as chairman of the House Budget Committee and had previously served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee and the Republican Policy Committee.
On November 29, 2016, Price was nominated for United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) by President Donald Trump. The Senate confirmed Price in a 52–47 vote on February 10, 2017.
- 1 Early life, education, and medical career
- 2 Georgia Senate (1996–2005)
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives (2005–2017)
- 3.1 Elections
- 3.2 Voting record and political views
- 3.3 Legislation sponsored by Price
- 3.4 Committee assignments
- 4 Secretary of Health and Human Services
- 5 Investment activity
- 6 Personal life
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life, education, and medical career
He ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta for 20 years before returning to Emory as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. Price also was the director of the orthopedic clinic at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital.
Price is a former member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine." The AAPS opposes Medicare and mandatory vaccination. Price is also a member of the American Medical Association.
Georgia Senate (1996–2005)
Elections and results
In 1996, Price was the Republican nominee for Georgia's 56th senate district after Republican State Senator Sallie Newbill decided not to run for re-election. In the November general election, he defeated Democrat Ellen Milholland 71%–29%. In a 1998 rematch, he won re-election to a second term by defeating Milholland by a margin of 75%–25%. In 2000 and 2002, he won re-election to a third and fourth term unopposed.
During his tenure as state senator, Price served on the committees for Appropriations, Economic Development and Tourism, Education, Ethics, Health and Human Services, Insurance and Labor, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Rules.
U.S. House of Representatives (2005–2017)
In 2004, U.S. Congressman Johnny Isakson of Georgia's 6th congressional district decided not to run for re-election in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Six other Republican candidates filed to run, most notably state senators Robert Lamutt and Chuck Clay. Price was the only major candidate from Fulton County, while Lamutt and Clay were both from Cobb County. On July 20, 2004, Price ranked first with 35% of the vote, but failed to reach the 50% threshold needed to win the Republican nomination. Lamutt qualified for the run-off, ranking second with 28% of the vote. Price won two of the district's three counties: Fulton with 63% and Cherokee with 35%. Lamutt carried Cobb with 31% of the vote. In the August 10 run-off election, Price defeated Lamutt 54%–46%. They split the vote in Cherokee, but Price carried Fulton by a landslide of 79% of the vote. Lamutt couldn't eliminate that deficit as he won Cobb with just 59% of the vote. Price won the general election unopposed.
Voting record and political views
In response to questions as to whether or not vaccines cause autism, Price stated in January 2017 “I think the science in that instance is that it does not”. Price said in March 2017 that it should be up to individual states to determine whether vaccinations should be required.
Price introduced his first post-Obamacare bill as early as 2009, thereafter reintroducing updated versions in every Congress since that point. In May 2015, as House Budget Committee chairman, Price released health care legislation which was described by Bill Kristol of the National Review as "the strongest Obamacare alternative offered in Congress to date." Greg Sargent of the Washington Post wrote "it's good to have a fleshed out plan, because it helps clarify the differences between the parties on health reform." Sargent also noted that "GOP reforms would likely translate into lower-quality plans and a coverage expansion that would benefit fewer people. But that would be the trade-off Republicans would make to achieve their goal of less government spending and interference in the market than that which occurs under Obamacare." Price voted to repeal portions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 on multiple occasions.
Price voted against the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a law that for the first time gave the Food & Drug Administration regulatory jurisdiction over tobacco products, i.e. the power to regulate tobacco as a drug. The law, passed in 2009, "mark[ed] a significant benchmark in how aggressive a role the United States government wants to take in cigarette regulation."
Price opposes abortion and supported the proposed Protect Life Act of 2011, which would have denied Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) funding to health care plans that offered abortion (the PPACA already prevented public funding covering abortions) and allowed hospitals to decline to provide abortions. The bill excludes cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and in cases where a woman suffers from a medical issue that would place her at risk of death unless an abortion is performed.
Price co-sponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.
Price voted against federal funding of groups such as Planned Parenthood. Price has said that the birth-control coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act violated religious freedoms and suggested that it is not necessary because all women can afford birth control.
Price opposes gun control. He praised the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found that the absolute prohibition of handguns in the District of Columbia was unconstitutional, and McDonald v. Chicago, which stated that the Second Amendment applied to the states. He was given an "A" grade by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, a 92% approval rating overall from the National Rifle Association and an 83% approval rating from the Gun Owners of America, and a 0% approval rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Price voted against a bill prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He voted in favor of constitutionally defining marriage as one man and one woman. Price voted against H.R. 2965, which would have ended Don't ask, don't tell. In 2006, he received a 0% rating by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.
Farming and environmental regulation
Price does not support federal regulation of farming. He has voted against regulating and restricting farmers, earning him a 70% from the American Farm Bureau Federation and a 0% approval rate from the National Farmers Union. He supported the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, stating that it would keep the Environmental Protection Agency from applying too many regulations to farming and ranching. He also voted for the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012 which, had it become law, would have made supplemental agricultural disaster assistance available, if needed.
Price voted against a resolution which would force the president to withdraw American forces from Iraq.
In 2011, Price voted to reduce non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels (and subsequently voted against several amendments offered via motions to recommit with instructions).
In 2013, he was the main sponsor of the Require a PLAN Act (mandating that the President identify a fiscal year in which the budget will be balanced). He voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act and a resolution establishing a budget for the United States Government for FY 2014 that passed the House of Representatives.
Price voted to terminate the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program.
Price voted to reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions.
Legislation sponsored by Price
Price is the sponsor of the Empowering Patients First Act (EPFA), which he first introduced in the 111th Congress and has reintroduced in each Congress since then. Originally intended to be a Republican alternative to Democratic efforts to reform the health care system, it has since been positioned by Price and other Republicans as a potential replacement to the PPACA. The bill, among other things, creates and expands tax credits for purchasing health insurance, allows for some interstate health insurance markets, and reforms medical malpractice lawsuits.
Price introduced the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2013 (H.R. 1874; 113th Congress) on May 8, 2013. The bill would require the Congressional Budget Office to provide a macroeconomic impact analysis for bills that are estimated to have a large budgetary effect. Price said it was necessary because of the Congressional Budget Office's current method of reviewing bills just to see what they would cost. Price said "that is a model that has proven to be incapable of providing the type of macroeconomic diagnosis folks need to make sure we are pursuing policies that will help generate economic opportunity and bring down the nation's debt." H.R. 1874 has passed the House but has yet to become law.
In total, Price has sponsored 73 bills, including:
109th Congress (2005–2006)
- H.R. 3693, a bill to prevent all illegal border crossings after a certain date, introduced September 7, 2005
- H.R. 3860, a bill to require each state and U.S. territory to maintain a sex offender registry, to increase punishments for sexual and violent crimes against children and minors, and to require background checks of individuals before approval of adoptive or foster services, introduced September 22, 2005
- H.R. 3941, a bill to reduce foreign oil consumption to less than 25% of total oil consumption by no later than 2015, introduced September 29, 2005, reintroduced in the 110th Congress as H.R. 817
- H.R. 6133, a bill to create national standards for work in laboratories that includes requiring proficiency in cytology or the study of cells, introduced September 21, 2006. H.R. 6133's companion bill was S. 4056.
110th Congress (2007–2008)
- H.R. 1685, a bill to require holders of personal financial data to increase security of such data, introduced March 26, 2007
- H.R. 1761, a bill to create a competitive grant program to reward such grants to educational institutions and systems to develop and implement performance-based compensation systems for teachers to encourage teachers to improve educational outcomes, introduced March 29, 2007, reintroduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 3683
- H.R. 2626, a bill to allow for tax credits and deductions for purchasing health insurance, to revise government employer contribution amounts, to reform malpractice lawsuits, to provide financial aid to introduce health information technology, to allow for a tax credit for emergency room physicians to offset costs incurred because of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, and to promote interstate health insurance markets, introduced June 7, 2007. This bill served as the precursor to EPFA, and most of H.R. 2626's provisions are included in EPFA.
- H.R. 4464, a bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to clarify that it is not unlawful for any employer to require proficiency in English as a condition of employment, introduced December 12, 2007, reintroduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 1588
- H.R. 6910, a bill to expand oil and natural gas drilling and use revenue generated from such drilling to fund monetary rewards for advancing the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of alternative fuel vehicles, introduced September 18, 2008
111th Congress (2009–2010)
- H.R. 464, a bill to require states to cover 90% of eligible children for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the program for households with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), with special rules above 200% of the FPL, to prohibit SCHIP from funding child health care for children in households above 250% of the FPL, and to require more than one health plan to be offered in SCHIP, introduced January 13, 2009. Modified versions of this bill's provisions make up Title IV of EPFA.
- H.R. 3140, a bill to repeal all unpaid provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to terminate the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and to allocate TARP repayments to reducing the federal government's public debt, introduced July 9, 2009
- H.R. 3372, a bill to develop best practice guidelines for treating medical conditions and to reform malpractice lawsuits, introduced July 29, 2009, reintroduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 2363. Modified versions of this bill's provisions make up Title V of EPFA.
- H.R. 6170, a bill to prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services from precluding an enrollee, participant, or beneficiary in a health benefits plan from entering into any contract or arrangement for health care with any health care provider, excluding Medicaid and TRICARE, introduced September 22, 2010. This bill's provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.
- H.R. 6171, a bill to prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services or any state from requiring any health care provider to participate in any health plan as a condition of licensure of the provider in any state, introduced September 22, 2010, reintroduced in the 112th and 113th Congresses as H.R. 969. This bill's provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.
112th Congress (2011–2012)
- H.R. 1700, a bill to allow for Medicare beneficiaries to contract with any health care professionals that provide care covered under the Medicare program, with special circumstances, introduced March 3, 2011, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1310. This bill's provisions are included in Title X of EPFA.
- H.R. 2077, a bill to repeal the medical loss ratio provision of the PPACA, introduced June 1, 2011
- H.R. 4066, a bill to exclude pathologists from Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments and penalties relating to electronic health records, introduced February 6, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1309
- H.R. 6616, a bill to exempt U.S. securities transactions from financial taxes and penalties imposed by other nations, introduced November 19, 2012, reintroduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 2546
113th Congress (2013–2014)
- H.R. 1990 and H.R. 2009, bills to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate of the Secretary, from implementing or enforcing any provisions of or amendments made by the PPACA or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced May 15 and 16, 2013. H.R. 2009 has passed the House but has yet to become law.
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Ways and Means
Secretary of Health and Human Services
On November 29, 2016, Price was nominated for United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) by President Donald Trump. On February 1, 2017, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved his nomination by a vote of 11-0 with all Democrats boycotting the vote, sending the nomination to the Senate floor. On February 10, 2017, the Senate confirmed Price in a 52-47 vote.
In March 2017, Price endorsed the American Health Care Act, a bill proposed by House Republicans that would repeal the individual mandate and make several other major changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the American Health Care Act would insure 24 million fewer Americans than the Affordable Care Act by 2026 and reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion in the same span, Price said he disagreed "strenuously" with the report and found it "not believable".
In April 2017, reporter Dan Heyman was arrested by West Virginia police for "aggressively breaching Secret Service agents" and "causing a disturbance by yelling questions" related to proposed healthcare legislation at Price and Kellyanne Conway.  Price said the arrest was "not my decision to make".
In 2015-2016, according to congressional financial disclosures, Price purchased shares totaling between $60,000 and $110,000 in value in Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company. Innate has no approved drugs and one multiple sclerosis drug in trial. Price participated in a private placement of more shares in August 2016, paying $.25 and $.34 per share. Price invested between $50,000 and $100,000. On January 13, 2017, the shares were valued at $1.31, giving Price an unrealized gain of 300%-400% in a 6-month period. Price announced plans to sell several health care investments, including Innate, upon his confirmation as HHS Secretary.
On January 16, 2017, CNN reported that Price had purchased shares in Zimmer Biomet, a medical devices company. Zimmer Biomet is an S&P 500 component, in that every S&P 500 ETF and numerous mutual funds often trade Zimmer Biomet. Price had a diversified, broker-directed portfolio of hundreds of stocks in which investment decisions were made by a Morgan Stanley financial advisor, and that advisor had purchased these shares, in addition to approximately 70 other stocks, as a part of a periodic portfolio re-balancing. Less than a week after the stock purchase, Price introduced legislation, the HIP Act, that would delay a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulation until 2018. Industry analysts had warned that those regulations would significantly hurt the company's finances. Following the introduction of the HIP Act, Zimmer Biomet's political action committee made a donation to Price's reelection campaign.
When questioned about his financial dealings during his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate on January 18, 2017, Price said, "[e]verything that we have done has been above-board, transparent, ethical, and legal."
In March 2017, ProPublica reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had been investigating Price's stock trades prior to Bharara's dismissal from his post by Donald Trump. Price said that he had not received any indication of a federal investigation into his stock trades.
Price and his wife Betty reside in Roswell, and have one child, Robert Price. Betty served on the Roswell City Council and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in a 2015 special election to succeed the late Harry Geisinger. Price is a Presbyterian.
As of 2014, Price was estimated to have a net worth of $13.6 million.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tom Price.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Tom Price (American politician)|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress