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House Budget Committee member Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., right, accompanied by committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and other committee members, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, to unveil a "comprehensive reform effort aimed to repair the broken budget process". (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump picked Congressman Tom Price as his Health and Human Services secretary


President-elect Donald Trump's transition team announced that he is nominating House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Price, a orthopedic surgeon by trade, will be in charge of dismantling President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

The six-time congressman has been one of the most vocal critics of President Obama's health insurance plan. And has even proposed legislation that would replace the law.

In a statement announcing Price as his pick for HHS, Trump said: “He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American."

Trump campaigned on dismantling the Affordable Care Act. But since being elected, Trump says that there are some pieces of the law he wants to keep -- such as keeping those under 26 on their parents' plan, and maintaining a prohibition against denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Price, who leads the House Budget Committee, was one of the first Republicans to introduce an alternative the Affordable Care Act. 

Because of his opposition to the health insurance law, he could be involved in helping the House pass a replacement plan, according to Politico

Price also came out in support of Trump in May and campaigned with him at an Obamacare repeal rally just before Election Day. 

Price has made health care his life's work. We could not ask for a better partner to work with Congress to fix our nation's health care.
House Speaker Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan celebrated the selection of Price. If Trump hopes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act he will need the Republican-controlled Congress to pass the new legislation. 

Conservatives also supported Price.

The transition team also announced that Seema Verma will serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Verma, an Indiana resident, is the CEO of SVC Inc., a health policy consultancy. She has worked closely with Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he expanded Medicaid in his state under the Affordable Care Act. 

During the campaign Trump promised to protect Medicare -- his campaign told CNN in August that "we will not cut Medicare." 

Trump's transition website says that Trump wants to "modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation and beyond."

Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. Any changes to Obamacare could have a ripple effect on funding the medical insurance plan for U.S. seniors.

According to CMS, Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will run out of money in 2030. 

Sources say Elaine Chao will be named Trump's Secretary of Transportation

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