Jan 24, 2017

Tom Price: I'll implement Obamacare until Congress repeals it

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

(Andrew Harnik / AP)

Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price suggested Tuesday he would keep implementing Obamacare until Congress passes and implements a replacement.

"Our commitment is to carry out the law of the land," Price said during an exchange with Democratic Sen. Mark Warner about how he'd apply President Trump's executive order. He also declared that "a replacement, a reform, an improvement of the program I believe is imperative to be instituted simultaneously," when asked whether he'd use the executive order to eliminate the law's individual mandate.

Between the lines: Price's answer was vague, and it doesn't mean he would do nothing to relax the law. There are a lot of executive actions he could take on his own, such as granting more waivers from the individual mandate. But Warner's question was whether Price would use the executive order to bypass the law completely — and Price has now made it clear that he won't do that.

Yes, but: Price's statement won't answer all of the questions many still have about his intentions. ""It doesn't tell us anything about how the executive order will be implemented," said Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "The real question is what, within the law, these agencies will end up doing."

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus, CDC says Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.