U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which oversees the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), issued the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to serve as HHS Secretary and Seema Verma to head CMS:
“American middle-class families have been financially devastated by Obamacare, and righting the wrongs of the misguided law is a top priority for the new Republican Congress and administration. Congressman Price has been selected for this crucial HHS post because of his experience as a respected physician and deep understanding of the health law and its flaws. Verma’s strong health policy background will benefit the reform effort at CMS, a mammoth agency whose responsibilities ballooned under President Obama and his health law. As Republicans chart the course to repeal and replace the health law with patient-centered reforms that increase access to care and reduce costs, both Tom and Seema will play an integral role in leading the effort. Each recognize the fiscal challenges facing Medicare and Medicaid and the need for Congress and the Executive Branch to work together to develop better ways to shore up these programs and help guarantee they are here for our children and grandchildren. I look forward to having their nominations considered by the Finance Committee in the new year and trust my colleagues will conduct a fair examination of their qualifications and experience.”
Background: The U.S. Senate, as is its role under the Constitution, carefully, thoroughly and fairly vets and scrutinizes the President’s nominees. Each nominee that moves through the Senate Finance Committee will undergo the same bipartisan vetting process as the nominees from previous administrations. Traditionally, each nominee is required to submit a questionnaire as well as full copies of their tax returns to the Committee for review. Once the internal vetting process is completed, the Finance Committee will schedule a date for a confirmation hearing. The Senate Finance Committee recognizes the need for a seamless transition between administrations and will act in a swift and thorough manner to clear the nominees in the Committee to ensure a timely consideration by the full Senate.