In response to the nomination of Rep. Tom Price for HHS Secretary, Physicians for Reproductive Health Consulting Medical Director Dr. Anne Davis issued the following statement:
“The nomination of Representative Tom Price (R-GA) to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is an aggressive attack against reproductive health care. Over and over, Rep. Price has been a staunch and rigid opponent of women’s health and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during his time in Congress.
As physicians, we are appalled by his voting record in Congress. Instead of voting for medically sound policies that prioritize the well-being of patients, Rep. Price’s votes have threatened the health of women around the country and shows that he does not understand what women need from their doctors. He cosponsored legislation that would have made abortion illegal nationwide in almost all cases, he voted to allow hospitals the right to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even in life-threatening cases, and he voted to limit medical students from being trained in abortion care. Rep. Price puts politics before medicine.
Rep. Price’s plan to repeal the ACA means dropping coverage of contraception without burdensome co-pays. Under the ACA, women have been able to afford FDA-approved methods of birth control, which allows women and health care providers to find the best method for each woman. We’ve seen big changes after ACA coverage of birth control, including the lowest abortion rate in decades. Contraception helps everyone, because when women can plan the timing and spacing of pregnancies, their own health and the well-being of their families improve. It’s difficult to comprehend how a medical professional could work to withhold birth control—something so beneficial to women that the Centers for Disease Control lauded it as one of the signature health achievements of the 20th Century.
Beyond women’s health, the allegations that Rep. Price profited from health-related stock trades while serving as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and sponsoring bills regulating the health care industry raise serious concerns. Can Rep. Price uphold the ethical standards and good judgment that the American people expect of their public officials?
The leader of HHS needs to understand and apply evidence-based medicine to improve health outcomes for everyone, not make them worse. Rep. Price favors damaging legislation that creates harmful restrictions, which especially target young women, women with low incomes, women of color, and immigrant women—communities that already suffer from health disparities and inequalities. We believe these women need our best care and that Rep. Price won’t join us to work toward that goal.
Rep. Price would take the health care of this country backward.”