(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the nomination of Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Quality, affordable health care should be accessible to every family and community in our country, and while we’ve made substantial progress toward this goal over the last few years—in particular as a result of the Affordable Care Act—there is much more we need to do. In the coming months and years, we have a crucial responsibility to continue moving health care in the United States forward so that more patients and families have access to the care they need.
“Families’ wellbeing, financial security, and opportunity depend on our commitment to this effort, and any Secretary of Health and Human Services must be a willing and engaged partner. I look forward to meeting with Congressman Price, to engaging in a close examination of his record and vision for the Department, and to bringing the voices of families in Washington state and across the country into this process.
“There’s no question that Congressman Price and I have stark differences in our views about the direction our health care system should take. I plan to ask him detailed questions about whether he would strengthen health care for families or aim to implement the partisan, deeply harmful vision President-elect Trump campaigned on and has threatened to carry out during his Presidency.
“With too many families still struggling to afford and access care, I will also be interested in how Congressman Price plans to help vulnerable children, families, and seniors for whom quality care is still out of reach—including those who are refugees and those who are undocumented. I’ll want to know how he will work to break down barriers to care that have too often left people of color and those in the LGBT community vulnerable, what his plans are to improve quality, independent health care for people with disabilities, whether he will continue investing in lifesaving, world-changing medical research, and what he plans to do to ensure families can trust that the medicine they take is safe and effective.
“And, as someone who believes deeply that women should be able to make their own choices about their own bodies, I will ask Congressman Price whether he would work to expand access to health care, including birth control, for all women and champion their reproductive rights, or instead, follow through on his harmful record of seeking to turn back the clock on women nationwide.
“The health and wellbeing of the families we serve could not be more important, and I am eager to evaluate Congressman Price’s qualifications for the role of Secretary of Health and Human Services through thorough, rigorous vetting and hearings.”