Donald Trump has chosen a health secretary who knows the system inside out and has been trying to get rid of ObamaCare since before it became law, sources tell Politico, the AP, the Washington Post, and other outlets. Rep. Tom Price, a 62-year-old orthopedic surgeon first elected to the House in 2004, is chair of the House Budget Committee and has worked closely with Paul Ryan on deficit-reduction budgets. Price supports major changes to Medicaid and Medicare as well as ObamaCare, reports the Post, which notes that he is very familiar with the "budgetary process, the federal bureaucracy, and the costs and mechanics" of changing the programs.
Price, who has helped draft several House bills to repeal and replace ObamaCare, was an early and enthusiastic Trump supporter. At a rally a week before the election, he said Trump would deliver a "real health solution," telling the crowd: "The things that we all believe about health care—we want a system that is affordable for everybody, that is accessible for everybody, that is of the highest quality and provides choices for patients—all of those things have been destroyed by ObamaCare." The AP notes that in remarks last week, Price insisted that Republicans could keep ObamaCare elements like protection for people with pre-existing conditions but still get rid of elements like penalties for people who refuse to get coverage. (Read more Tom Price stories.)