Sen. Al Franken to HHS nom. Tom Price: “I am very frightened by what you are going to do.” pic.twitter.com/57O6Z3yDfT
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 18, 2017
During his confirmation hearing for secretary of Health & Human Services on Wednesday, Representative Tim Price was grilled by Senator Al Franken over his past investments. Price has come under fire recently over accusations of insider trading and possibly inappropriate financial investments, particularly in a medical device manufacturer. The hearing has been a doozy thus far, with Senator Bernie Sanders unloading on him over access to healthcare. And Franken took Price to town for allegedly investing in healthcare firms while at the same time working on legislation that could affect access to healthcare.
Price remained collected during the Senate grilling, saying he would work with Democrats to find alternatives to Obamacare, but Franken didn’t seem to believe him, saying he was fearful for the future of U.S. healthcare and that his conflict of interests are too big to go unnoticed:
“I am very frightened by what you are going to do. This will unravel something that has given a lot of Americans peace of mind. I see you as someone who is there for the doctor … It really begs credulity, sir, when you say you did not know that you got a discount on this. I think that our job in this body and in Congress and in government is to avoid the appearance of conflict and, boy, you have not done this.”
Price has maintained he will not pull the “rug out” with Obamacare, but with the GOP’s quest to repeal Obama’s namesake all but secure (with no known replacement in hand), millions of people may be without insurance soon.
During the hearing, Franken also brought up how Price had been a shareholder in big tobacco companies while also voting against legislation to regulate it. Franken pushed Price on this, but Price remained vague about his portfolio’s investments.