There are plenty of reasons to be worried about Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of Health and Human Services. Price is an orthopedic surgeon and U.S. congressman from Georgia with no relevant experience.
Price has often and repeatedly voted to cut Medicaid and Medicare, and is an ardent opponent of female reproductive rights. Price also belongs to a truly radical medical organization known as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons with 4,000 members.
The AAPS statement of principles declares that it is “evil” and “immoral” for physicians to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. In particular, it urges “non-participation” in the Social Security amendments of 1965 — also known as Medicare — “as the only legal, moral, and ethical means of concretely expressing their complete disapproval of the spirit and philosophy behind these amendments.
Its website features ridiculous unscientific claims that tobacco taxes harm public health and electronic medical records are a form of “data control” like that employed by the East German secret police. An article on the AAPS website speculated that Barack Obama may have won the presidency by hypnotizing voters.
Their views on medicine are controversial to say the least: such as blaming vaccines for autism, including that the “shaken baby syndrome” is a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury; denying about HIV/AIDS; that immigrants cause crime and disease; that abortion causes breast cancer to name just a few.
Dr Price’s political agenda is the same self-serving tort reform that does not increase quality, transparency, or accountability including in the Empowering Patients First Act, the bill he has offered as an alternative to the ACA since 2009. His solution is the same type of ineffective federal tort reform which violates States’ Rights, and includes unconstitutional and arbitrary caps on damages. The bill would also allow physicians to “balance-bill” Medicare beneficiaries—to charge them more than Medicare’s allowable charge—which is currently illegal. The bill also proposes a modern day “Star Chamber” or “administrative healthcare tribunals” where a confidential proceeding by anonymous bureaucrats would decide if a jury gets to hear your case.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.