- HHS Secretary Tom Price testified at the House Appropriations Committee hearing on the agency's proposed budget Wednesday and hinted at making another attempt to repeal the ACA or at least continue to change the federal healthcare law.
- When committee members grilled Price over whether he supports certain aspects of the ACA, such as the individual mandate, he repeated the pledges he made after being nominated to head the HHS: ensuring that Americans have access to affordable care and can have the insurance coverage they want.
- Yet Price said he would enforce the ACA as long as it continues to be the "law of the land," as House Speaker Paul Ryan described it after the GOP's bill to repeal and replace the ACA was pulled last Friday.
Price has dodged many questions regarding the future of the ACA during the several hearings that have been held over the past few months to discuss his plans for the HHS. But after being pressured into answering some of those questions he has hinted at the shared belief among members of the GOP that the ACA is deeply flawed.
However, a recent study debunked his argument that even though there are more insured Americans thanks to the ACA, they still don't have access to care services. The ACA has "led to sizeable improvements in access to healthcare in both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states, with the gains being larger in expansion states along some dimensions," the study authors wrote.
His viewpoints on some parts of the ACA are not the only issues many have with Price's role at the HHS.
Shortly after the House Appropriations Committee hearing, a group of Democratic senators sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him to investigate Price's stock deals. Before being confirmed as the HHS Secretary under the President Donald Trump administration, Price's investments in several healthcare companies raised "questions about his ethical judgment," as noted by the Senators. They also want Sessions to ensure that “the removal of Mr. Bharara – or any other U.S. attorney – will not obstruct any investigation into this matter.” New York Attorney General Preet Bharara was involved in this investigation before he was fired earlier this month.