By Susan Molchan, MD, NPA Board Member
I met with several other groups today, led by Planned Parenthood, to deliver petitions with over 500,000 signatures expressing concerns about the nomination of Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) for secretary of the department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The top Democrat of the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) accepted the boxes of petitions. The HELP Committee is beginning hearings today on Price’s nomination. The petition from NPA brought 1,450 signatures.
NPA has many concerns about Dr. Price (a physician) as head of HHS, especially his conflicts of interests with health industry corporations. A number of instances have emerged in which he has bought stock and then presented legislation that would be of benefit to the companies in which he’d invested. His largest campaign contributors also happen to be pharmaceutical, heath insurance, and other health industry corporations.
He has also been opposed to the Affordable Care Act for years and suggests replacements for it, such as health savings accounts and high-risk pools, along with other measures, that have no basis in evidence. Many have been tried in the past and leave many uninsured or underinsured.
The other groups involved in today’s petition delivery were:
Advocates for Youth, AFL CIO, American Federation of Teachers, All Above All, CREDO, Housing Works, Moms Rising, MoveOn, National Council of Jewish Women, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for a National Health Program, Public Citizen, UltraViolet, and NARAL Pro-Choice America