Senate confirms HHS secretary nominee Alex Azar


Trump's first health secretary, former U.S. Representative Tom Price, resigned in September amid a furor over his use of expensive taxpayer-funded private charter jets for government travel.

A former clerk for pro-life Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will become the next HHS Secretary as Senate Republicans approved Alex Azar today after successfully turning back a Democrat filibuster yesterday. Paul said at a November 2017 hearing before the Senate health committee that Azar needed to convince him he wouldn't represent "Big Pharma" with policies such as opposing prescription drug importation.

Azar worked most recently as the president of Lilly USA, the US affiliate of drug giant Eli Lilly and Company. Democrats largely describe Azar's work history as a liability that could exacerbate the problems caused by rising drug prices. "And I am alarmed he may not stand up to President Trump's agenda driven by sabotage and ideology".

Azar, an ophthalmologist's son and former drug company executive who served in the administration of George W. Bush, faces two huge challenges.

"In his conversations with me, Mr. Azar said he shared one of my main goals of transforming our current health care system, which can often lead to mistreatment and overuse, to one that rewards health care providers based on the quality of care patients receive", Carper said in a statement.

Too Few Older, Hospitalized Patients Getting Flu Tests
He went on to say that locals must take measures to receive flu shots and stay away from others when feeling symptoms. The Center for Disease Control is encouraging people to get a flu shot as the epidemic wreaks havoc on the nation.

Coons added: "I personally met with Mr. Azar last month and pressed him on a number of key issues that he will impact as Secretary, including the Affordable Care Act, drug pricing, and continued progress on health care system delivery reform".

"In his impressive testimony before the Finance Committee, Mr. Azar discussed his intention to confront head-on the opioid crisis that is hurting so many families across the country, including in my home state of Kentucky".

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised Azar, whom he called the "right man for the job".

According to Talking Points Memo, Azar also told Murray in a written response to her questions regarding a strategic plan released by HHS which stated that life begins at conception, that "The mission of HHS is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, and this includes the unborn". By contrast, he had received unanimous Senate support when he was nominated to serve as the department's general counsel in 2001, and then as the agency's No. 2 official in 2005.