Warner announces opposition to Price for HHS post

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, today announced that he will oppose confirming Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

He released the following statement:

“Today, Democrats on the Finance Committee boycotted a scheduled markup to vote on the nominations of Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary and Congressman Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) until a number of outstanding questions regarding the nominees’ records have been fully answered. Once that happens, it is my hope that the Senate Finance Committee will hold a vote on these nominees with full, bipartisan participation. At that time, however, it is my intention to vote against Congressman Price’s nomination to serve as Secretary of HHS and, as I previously announced, against Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination as well.

“I am committed to making sure we have a health care system that is affordable, accessible, and provides high-quality care, which is why I must oppose Congressman Price’s nomination.

“While I believe there is more we can do to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the fact is that it plays a critical role in driving healthcare innovation, protecting consumers, and reducing overall spending. I also believe strongly in the importance of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide protection and health coverage to millions of seniors, Americans with disabilities, low-income Virginians and children.

“Through his long record and public statements, Congressman Price has made it clear that he does not share these views. He has voted repeatedly against CHIP, advocated for dismantling the ACA without a viable replacement, and made it clear that as Secretary of HHS he will seek to implement policies that will make healthcare more expensive and less accessible to Virginians. I will strongly oppose this nomination.”

Sen. Warner also announced the launch of a new ACA portal on his website, asking Virginians to share their Affordable Care Act stories with him via www.warner.senate.gov or on social media using the hashtag #VAis4coverage.

“Nearly 400,000 Virginians now have coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If the Administration and Congress move forward on a plan to repeal the ACA without providing a viable replacement, hundreds of thousands of Virginians – and millions of Americans – stand to lose their access to affordable health coverage,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m asking Virginians to help me make the case against repeal by sharing their stories about how the ACA has helped them, and suggesting ways that Congress can work to improve, instead of dismantle, our healthcare system.”

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