01.17.18

Murray to Oppose President Trump’s Latest Ideological Choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services

Murray criticizes President Trump’s partisan, politically-motivated approach to health care, says Azar has made clear he will follow Trump’s lead on opioids, drug prices, Trumpcare, women’s health

 

Murray: In nominating Mr. Azar, “President Trump once again failed to listen to patients and families who are sick of seeing the President put politics before their health and wellbeing”

 

Murray: “The last thing women need from President Trump’s administration is another force for turning back the clock on women’s health and rights”

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced that she will vote against the nomination of former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, nominated after former Secretary Price resigned amid ethics scandals.

 

“Since President Trump first took office, patients and families across the country have raised their voices to reject this President’s intensely partisan, politically-motivated plan for their health and the health of their families, neighbors, and communities.

 

“Unfortunately, after careful review of Mr. Azar’s record and qualifications, it has become clear that in nominating him as our country’s next health secretary, President Trump once again failed to listen to patients and families who are sick of seeing the President put politics before their health and wellbeing.

 

“In our discussions, I was disappointed that Mr. Azar declined to commit to supporting more funding for communities hard-hit by the opioid epidemic. He failed to persuade me that he can effectively lead any effort to lower drug prices given his tenure at Eli Lilly, where he worked to raise drug prices on patients. He indicated in our discussions that he would continue the Administration’s harmful plan to create Trumpcare by sabotage.

 

“Finally, I was deeply disturbed to hear from Mr. Azar that he believes a woman’s employer should be able to decide whether or not her birth control—an essential part of millions of women’s health care in the 21st century—should be covered. The last thing women need from President Trump’s administration is another force for turning back the clock on women’s health and rights.

 

“Like Secretary Price before him, who was forced to resign in disgrace, Mr. Azar has left no doubt he will defer to the Trump agenda of putting politics ahead of families’ health, and ideology ahead of science. I will oppose his nomination and urge all of my colleagues to do the same.”

 

###