HHS nominee Azar must vow to protect Medicare, Obamacare-commentary

Since taking office, the Trump Administration has taken deliberate actions to systematically sabotage along with dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) piece by piece, while the Republicans in Congress, with Trump cheer leading all the way, have worked hard to repeal the law. that will has thrown American families along with health care markets into a frenzy—who could be covered? What could the item cost? What’s the future of America’s health care?

These are some of the many questions for Alex Azar to answer as the person who hopes to succeed Tom cost as the leader of the Health along with Human Services agency (HHS) when he appears before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.

While cost distinguished himself as a zealous opponent of the ACA, Azar has the opportunity to enact a proactive agenda to improve America’s health care. however first he has to decide whether he’s going to be an agent for the future or a captive of his past as an executive for a top U.S. drug company.

Azar can revive HHS’s mission to “enhance the health along with well-being of Americans,” or follow the profit-driven path he plowed at Eli Lilly which jacked up the cost of insulin by 225 percent since 2011. Given how much we still don’t know about Azar even after his first confirmation hearing, we have some questions we wish he finally will answer during the remainder of the Senate confirmation process.

  • What will you do to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) along with expand access to affordable, quality care?

    Instead of working to expand enrollment inside marketplaces along with working to stabilize insurance markets to ensure consumers have a wide choice of insurers, Republicans in Congress along with the administration has taken several steps inside opposite direction.

    via the repeal of the individual responsibility provision of the law to the administration’s proposed rule allowing insurers to offer bare-bones insurance without consumer protections, these moves only serve to enhance costs along with weaken Americans’ health care.

    Instead of taking every step possible to undermine the law, we need an HHS secretary who will work to create more stable markets, strengthen the law, along with expand access to affordable care. Will you work with the ACA instead of against the item, Mr. Azar? The health care of millions depends on your answer.

  • Will you commit to protect along with invest in Medicaid along with Medicare, so no one will lose coverage?

    Both programs provide care for working families, children, seniors along with people with disabilities along with have come under threat since Trump took office. Each health care repeal bill could have made dramatic cuts to these programs along with end Medicaid as we know the item, as could the GOP’s tax along with budget plans.

    Azar is usually on the record favoring what Republicans often refer to as “state flexibility” on Medicaid along with block grants, however those are just cuts in disguise. We cannot afford a leader of HHS who favors cuts to Medicaid along with Medicare along with supports efforts to undermine these programs. Which side will you be on, Mr. Azar?

  • How do you plan to lower drug prices?

    When President Trump announced the nomination, he said Azar could lower drug prices. however he’s nominated a drug profiteer to the post. Azar was most recently president of U.S. operations for Eli Lilly & Co., a company today under investigation for possible cost fixing under his leadership along with that will paid the lowest U.S. tax rate among different leading American pharmaceutical companies.

    Drug companies cannot be allowed to exploit the need for life-saving prescription medicine. Even though Azar does not seem open to checks on the cost of drugs, we wish he will use his experience to help stop drug company cost-gouging. What will you do, Mr. Azar – work for the people or the drug companies?

Since taking office, President Trump has made the item clear that will Americans’ health care will never be safe in his hands. The last thing we need at HHS is usually a leader who is usually hostage to both his boss along with his drug industry past.

Americans are tired of waking up every day along with wondering if their health care will be taken away or become too expensive. Every attempt by the House along with Senate to repeal the ACA has been met with resounding opposition via the public.

For Azar, the central question is usually whether he will work for pharmaceutical corporations along with Republican campaign contributors or the American people. Where do you stand, Mr. Azar? Who will you represent? Americans deserve to know.

Commentary by Margarida Jorge along with Ethan Rome, co-directors of Health Care for America today, a national grassroots coalition that will led the effort to pass, protect along with promote the Affordable Care Act. the item has come back together to fight against efforts to repeal along with undermine the law.

For more insight via CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

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