U.S. President-elect Donald Trump made his selections for two more Cabinet posts Tuesday, including an outspoken foe of Obamacare.
Trump named Georgia Republican congressman Tom Price as his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Trump says Price will lead his administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act.
“Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem-solver and the go-to-expert on health care policy, making him an ideal choice to serve in this capacity,” Trump said.
Price is chairman of the House Budget Committee and was an orthopedic surgeon before entering politics.
He says he wants a health care system that works for patients, families and doctors and leads the world in curing and preventing sickness.
Trump made getting rid of Obamacare one of his major campaign themes, constantly referring to one of the president’s proudest achievements as an expensive “disaster.”
But neither Trump or other Republican critics have spelled out what they want to put in its place.
Trump has said he wants to keep two of Obamacare’s most popular provisions —barring insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and letting children stay on their parents’ policies until they are 26 years old.
Chao and transportation
Also Tuesday, Trump named former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to head the Department of Transportation.
“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” he said.
Chao was born in Taiwan and was labor secretary under President George W. Bush. She was the first Asian-born woman ever to serve in a U.S. president’s Cabinet.
She says Trump has a “clear vision” on how to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, such as bridges and highways, and create good-paying jobs.
But the president-elect also plans big tax cuts, and it is unclear how he would fund such massive rebuilding projects.
Just like all Cabinet jobs, Price and Chao need U.S. Senate approval.
But the incoming Senate Democratic leader, New York’s Chuck Schumer, immediately signaled his opposition to Price, calling him “far out of the mainstream of what Americans want” for programs to help older people, women, families and those with disabilities.
Meanwhile, Trump dined Tuesday night with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who he is reportedly considering to be his secretary of state.
While the relatively moderate Romney may have an easier time getting Senate approval, he would be a controversial choice for many Trump supporters because of his refusal to publicly endorse Trump during the campaign.
He had also called Trump a “fraud” and “con man.”
Other candidates for secretary of state are said to be Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly wants the job; and retired Army general David Petraeus, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
But Petraeus would likely face tough Senate questions about his integrity. He resigned from the CIA in 2012 after leaking classified information to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.
Petraeus was fined $100,000 and given two years’ probation after pleading guilty to charges of mishandling classified information.