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WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, Alex Azar, the former drug company executive nominated to take over the country’s top health care agency, will face tough questions from the senators who try to keep that department in check.

Azar heads first to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, whose members share jurisdiction on health care issues with the Senate Finance Committee, which will ultimately preside over his official confirmation hearing.


The last nominee for the job — former HHS Secretary Tom Price — faced nearly four hours of questions at each of his two hearings. Democrats jumped at the chance to grill President Trump’s nominee on politically charged questions about the future of popular programs like Medicare and Medicaid and controversial plans to implement and oversee Obamacare, which remains the law of the land despite repeated legislative attempts to repeal it.

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  • What does he plan to do with the current unsustainable reimbursements for durable medical equipment? Do you want to stay in the hospital much longer because you cannot get oxygen, a wheelchair or a hospital bed? me neither.

  • Well, at least with the $9-$20M portfolio he collected while working for Lilly (see linked sidebar Health secretary nominee reaped big earnings from drug industry tenure) he can afford, like Betsy DeVos, to buy and fly his own jet to Phila for lunch, unlike his poor physician predecessor who had to depend on public largesse (which dissipated). And we can confidently predict how successful his “Just Say No to drugs and sex” approaches will be. Love the predictability of this administration. If they possibly can, they will do it wrong!

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