Dr. Manny: Why the medical community needs to celebrate Trump’s confidence in the Price


I am happy with President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., is an outspoken opponent of ObamaCare, but it is not reckless in his approach to the reform. The House budget committee chairman, is a former orthopedic surgeon who said it was “important that Washington is not in the cost of health care.” That, I say: Amen.

There are a few indications that we can expect a smooth transition for the Price once he is confirmed, he has worked with the GOP leadership and the House of representatives Ryan on budgetary resources, as well as the shaping of “A Better Way,” the Republican alternative to ObamaCare.

Price is again a plan called the Empowering Patients First Act, including refundable, age-adjusted tax credits for people to buy insurance themselves if they do not have access to coverage through an employer or government program. His plan also includes provisions so that people in Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare may opt-out and get tax credits toward the cost of private coverage.

Ryan has previously admitted that “A Better Way” includes some of the Price ideas, which also are causing insurers to sell policies across borders as well as making the insurance for persons with pre-existing medical conditions by helping states set up new high-risk groups or other programs for such enrollees. Price is also hinted in the past that whatever the Republicans to replace ObamaCare will contribute “significant similarity” to the 2015 GOP measure by a veto from President Obama.

From this statement we can predict that a plan for the future will be stripes on the expansion of Medicaid, subsidies to help middle-class Americans to buy a private policy and tax penalties for those who refuse to get coverage, which can help cut down on the rising premiums for this population.

I believe that bringing in a real doctor instead of a politician hell-bent on scoring points for his party, will help repair the fences between Democrats and Republicans. In D. C. conditions, the Price can be regarded as a newbie if he only came on the scene in 2005. Before he spent time teaching at the Emory School of Medicine and 20 years in a clinical setting before the first Republican Senate majority Leader in the history of the state. Price hands-on experience in the exam room should help alleviate that focus on the policies that take away from a doctor-patient relationship.

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He is critical of ObamaCare’s further away from fee-for-service medicine to value-based care, and in particular of Medicare is a mandatory bundled payment initiatives, which I also would like to see that reversed. I have witnessed colleagues and other doctors out of the way to Medicare and Medicaid patients, refuse to accept any new patients and cut back on services that are offered about the concern about the costs and compensation from the government. Not only is this destroying the public’s trust in medicine, but it makes the exam room to be sterile. Patients should be confident that we always act on the improvement of their standards of care, not refuse to go the extra mile for them over the fear of not being able to stay upright.

All of us in the medical sector, including the Price, proudly recited the Oath of Hippocrates, but ObamaCare has forced many to abandon their passion. I believe the Price is willing and eager to have us all back on the right path, and restore America’s trust in medicine.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He is also chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information about Dr. Manny’s work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit for more.

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