NHPCO Welcomes Alex Azar as HHS Secretary

26 January, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Alex Azar II testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington

In addition, Azar must decide how to administer the Affordable Care Act, a task for which he will be personally and legally responsible, at a time when Trump and many Republicans in Congress want to undermine and eventually kill the law.

Earlier this week, the Senate advanced the nomination of Azar with a 54-43 vote that mostly followed party lines.

The Senate confirmed Alex Azar on Wednesday as the next Department of Health and Human Services secretary.

"On Mr. Azar's watch", Mr. Wyden said, "the price of Forteo, a Lilly drug used to treat osteoporosis, more than doubled", as did the prices for Humalog, used to treat diabetes, and Strattera, for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

After leaving the Bush administration, Azar spent 10 years as a senior executive of drugmaker Eli Lilly, which has been criticized for raising the price of insulin and other widely used medications.

Supporters of Azar, however, said his experience at HHS under President George W. Bush, overseeing implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (which created Medicare Part D) and Medicare Advantage should mean more than what company he worked for in the private sector.


Azar's nomination is seen as a bright light to continue the pro-life policies President Donald Trump has put into place to overturn the mandates the Obama Administration put forward that forced Christians to fund abortion drugs. Patty Murray of Washington on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

During a committee hearing in November, Azar told lawmakers he'd work on lowering the cost of prescription medicine.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., praised Azar as intelligent and competent, noting he will be a "solid" leader for HHS. "The President has made this clear".

During his past Congressional hearings, Azar has noted that like President Trump, he also thinks that drug prices are too high. Also, he would look into why Americans pay more for drugs than European or Japanese consumers. But he indicated that he does not support an idea Trump has intermittently raised and Democrats have long endorsed - letting the government directly negotiate drug prices within Medicare.

"AdvaMed and the entire medical technology industry congratulate Alex Azar on his confirmation as Secretary of HHS".

"For all Americans he will work to expand access to high-quality, affordable health care options", McConnell said.

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