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Trump's HHS nominee vowed no one will be 'worse off' under the GOP's Obamacare replacement

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UPDATE 12:51 p.m. 

Price hinted that he believes the GOP's replacement plan for Obamacare should include some form of employer-provided insurance, but not a mandate. 

"I think the employer system has been a remarkable success in allowing individuals to gain coverage," Price told Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). 

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) grilled Price on whether or not he would move Medicaid to a block grant system.

Menendez argued that by moving to block grants, the government would remove people's right to the entitlement and instead make it a "possibility." 

Price said that no system that he or Trump have supported would leave anybody "without the opportunity to gain coverage." 

UPDATE 11:45 a.m. 

Menendez questioned Price on whether vaccines cause autism in children, a theory that some conservatives, including President Trump, have floated. 

Price, a physician, said the science is clear that they do not. 

UPDATE 11:35 a.m. 

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) grilled Price over allegations that he traded healthcare stocks while promoting legislation that would benefit those companies. 

"It's hard to see how this can be anything but a conflict of interest and an abuse of position," Wyden said. 

Price told Wyden, “The reality is that everything that I did was ethical, above board, legal and transparent."

Trump's HHS nominee vowed no one will be 'worse off' under the GOP's Obamacare replacement

Price promised that no one would be "worse off" under the Trump administration's actions to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Rep. Tom Price, President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, was back in the hot seat on Tuesday for a second round of questioning before a vote to confirm his nomination. 

The Georgia Republican faced questions from members of the Senate Finance Committee over his stock buys and how he plans to carry out Trump's new executive order aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act. 

Democrats and Republicans on the committee got into some heated exchanges during the hearing. 

Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) lamented the "hyper-politicization of the nomination process." Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said in his opening remarks that he feels like he has been "asked to be a character witness in a felony trial in the sentencing phase of a conviction." 

Later in the hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) asked Price whether he felt that Democrats were holding him to a different standard than what they as lawmakers are held to. 

"We know what's going on here," Price said. "As my wife tells me, I volunteered for this."

On Monday, Senate Finance Committee staff released a bipartisan memo to lawmakers disclosing several concerns that were raised during the review of Price's tax returns and financial disclosures. 

The memo revealed Price had failed to disclose late tax payments on rental properties and had undervalued stocks that he owned in a pharmaceutical company. He also did not disclose to the committee that he had previously been investigated by an ethics panel for fundraising activities, CNN reported

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