How Donald Trump’s Health Secretary Pick Endangers Women image

New York Times, December 28, 2016
Allison K. Hoffman (Academic Fellow Alumna) and Jill R. Horwitz


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LOS ANGELES — With the selection of Representative Tom Price as secretary of health and human services, President-elect Donald J. Trump has taken a giant step toward undermining the health of American women.

It is regrettable, but not surprising, that Mr. Trump has nominated a strident opponent of abortion. It is also no surprise that Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, earned a zero rating from Planned Parenthood, an organization he’d like to defund, despite its role in providing preventive health services.

What may jolt even those who supported Mr. Trump is the extremity of Mr. Price’s views on women’s health. In Congress, he opposed a law that would protect women in Washington, D.C., from employment discrimination based on their decision to use birth control or have an abortion. He was a co-sponsor of legislation that would have defined life as beginning at conception, inviting arguments that common forms of birth control constitute a murder weapon.

So far, critics of Mr. Price’s nomination have focused on his plans to abolish the Affordable Care Act. While that is unlikely to happen, the program’s provisions for contraception and other services that women disproportionately use will be early and easy targets. Family planning services have long been a focus of Republican ire, and since the requirement to cover them appears in an administrative rule, rather than in a statute, Mr. Price’s agency could overturn it by issuing a countervailing rule. [...]

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abortion contraception health care finance health care reform health law policy insurance judicial opinions public health regulation reproductive rights