WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan, member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement after President Trump announced Alex Azar as his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:
“As New Hampshire and states across the country continue to be devastated by the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis, and as the Trump Administration continues working to strip health insurance coverage away from hard-working Granite Staters and Americans, it is essential that we have a leader at the Department of Health and Human Services who puts the health and well-being of patients first. I look forward to evaluating Mr. Azar’s experience and qualifications for the role, including his commitment to joining us in our efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs given his past work in the pharmaceutical industry. I will always stand up for the health and well-being of the people of New Hampshire, and will thoroughly evaluate Mr. Azar’s nomination during the confirmation process.”
Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans is troubled by this pick and says that putting Azar in charge of HHS is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
“Prescription drug costs are the top driver behind high medical costs in this country, hurting retirees and all consumers. By nominating a drug corporation insider to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, President Trump appears to be putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.”
“Congress must ask tough questions of this nominee during the confirmation process. In particular, Mr. Azar should be asked whether he supports giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices, the way that Medicaid and the Veterans Administration do today,” said Fiesta.