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Price Confirmed

Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) has been confirmed as secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services with a party-line vote of 52 to 47 at 2 am this morning, the New York Times reports.

As HHS head, Price, an orthopedic surgeon, will oversee the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies.

"Who better than a doctor to head an organization that covers the wide variety of major health care programs?" Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) tells the Times.

Price's confirmation hearings were marked by questions regarding his investments in medical and pharmaceutical companies while working on policies affecting those industries. The Wall Street Journal had also reported that he purchased stock in an Australian biotech company at a discount not widely available to US stockholders, in contrast to his Senate testimony. The Times notes that Price recently amended financial disclosure statement.

As HHS secretary, Price is expected to lead to repeal of the Affordable Care Act — he as previously proposed a replacement plan — and he has supported plans to change Medicaid and Medicare, NPR adds.

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