Jan 18, 2017

Here's what Tom Price told the Senate health committee

Carolyn Kaster/AP

President-elect Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary testified for nearly four hours before the Senate HELP Committee on Wednesday. In that time, he suggested that the Trump administration wants to cover more people than Obamacare, hinted he might drop his opposition to Medicare negotiating drug prices, and tangled with Democrats over whether he was actually in charge of his stock purchases.

While the committee won't vote on his nomination, Price's testimony reveals more about what he'll do if confirmed — and how that might clash with Trump's public comments.

Read on for some of Price's notable answers:

  • "Choices and access and cost are the heart and center of where we ought to be putting our attention."
  • "Anybody not being able to get access to the coverage they want or need is not a system that works for patients."
  • Agreed with Sen. Susan Collins that the goal is for more people to have health insurance.
  • Repeal and replace legislation is "absolutely not" the bill to reform Medicare.
  • On whether no repeal will happen before pieces of a replacement are in place: "I think that's fair."
  • Said he bought stocks in Innate Immunotherapeutics himself — though he later said he directed his broker to do it.
  • Although Trump has said the administration will be putting out an Obamacare replacement plan shortly after Price is confirmed, Price suggested it would come later: "We look forward to working with Congress to come up with that plan."
  • On following through with Trump's support of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices: "The boss that I have will be the President of the United States."
  • On Medicaid expansion: "We absolutely must ensure individuals don't fall through the cracks" during the transition to a new health system.
  • Refused to promise not to cut Medicare or Medicaid: ""I believe the metric ought to be the care patients are receiving."

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health