Former Maryland man confirmed to lead United States health department

Former Maryland man confirmed to lead United States health department”

Many Democrats opposed the nomination due to Azar's ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The 50-year-old Azar is a veteran of HHS, having served for two years as deputy secretary and before that as general counsel of the department, both during the administration of President George W. Bush.

The Senate voted 55-43 to confirm Azar.

"Mr. Azar says he agrees that prices are too high, but he does not seem ready or willing to do much about it", Sen.

Wyden noted that Azar doesn't have the ethical challenges that faced the former HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D., who resigned in September after controversy over reports he spent almost $1 million of taxpayer money by using private chartered planes and military jets for government travel.

Azar has said he would work "in the interests of all Americans, not in the interests of any trade group, not in the interests of any company". Patty Murray of Washington on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

Other Democrats said that, while they fear that Azar will align with what they called President Donald Trump's "sabotage" of the ACA, they do not regard him with the same alarm as they did his predecessor. Sen.

Azar, an outspoken critic of Obamacare, will take over the department at a time when the Trump administration has successfully unwound portions of the Affordable Care Act - including a requirement that everyone carry some form of insurance or face a tax penalty.

HHS has already taken several steps that are expected to limit participation in Obamacare exchanges in 2018, including slashing the open enrollment period in half and cutting advertising and support for it.

Wyden also lashed out at a recent presidential executive order meant to make it easier for people to get skimpy, affordable health plans that do not meet ACA coverage requirements.

Azar said he will consider implementing some kind of negotiation in Medicare Part B, the portion which covers drugs that must be administered by doctors for the elderly. Orrin G. Incubate (R-Utah), executive of the Senate Finance Committee, which directed his affirmation hearing and propelled his designation seven days back.

Azar told the Senate Finance Committee staff that he never, not one time, signed off on a decrease in the price of a drug, according to Wyden.

Azar also wants to use Medicare's power to shift how the nation pays for health care, from reimbursing for procedures to paying for outcomes.

"He and I have spoken about the need for more resources to combat the opioid abuse epidemic", Donnelly said in a statement, "and I am confident that he will be a partner as we work toward a more robust federal response to this issue that is devastating families and communities all across our country". And contending that the administration has pursued "a health-care agenda of discrimination" against LGBT Americans and women, Wyden said, "when you review the record. there is not a shred of evidence Azar is going to try to stop it, reform it or in any way try to make sure those Americans, all of them, get a fair shake".

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