President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told a U.S. congressional panel on Tuesday that he does not support the privatization of Medicare.
Speaking before the Senate Committee on Finance, one of two committees that oversee the health department, Representative Tom Price, a Georgia orthopedic surgeon, also said his position reflects that of Trump, who has stated he does not want to cut Medicare.
Price, who has previously backed privatization of Medicare, told lawmakers his role as health secretary would be very different from his role as a congressman and that his job would be to execute the wishes of Congress.
“I would just convey to the Medicare population of this nation, they don’t have reason to be concerned,” he said. “We look forward to assisting them in getting the care and coverage that they need.”
Democrats also grilled Price on his plans for Medicaid. A senior Trump adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said in an interview on NBC’s “Sunday Today” show that Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will include fixed payments from the government to the states to care for Medicaid patients.
These payments, known as block grants, contrast with the current system in which states share the actual cost of Medicaid enrollees with the federal government. Conway said converting to a block grant system would ensure that people in charge of administering the program are “those who are closest to the people” who need care.
Price has long advocated block grants for Medicaid but declined on Tuesday to overtly re-state his position, saying only that he would work to make sure “people have better healthcare, not less healthcare.”
Price declined to say whether he supports the repeal of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, but said “any reform or improvement” would include the opportunity to gain access to quality healthcare.
Medicare is the federal health program for the elderly while Medicaid covers the poor.
(Reporting by Toni Clarke and Susan Cornwell in Washington; additional reporting by Caroline Humer in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.