Tom Price holds the keys to Obamacare after Senate bill collapse

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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, center, accompanied by his wife Betty, and Vice President Mike Pence, signs an official document during a swearing in ceremony, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in the in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — With the Senate’s health care overhaul dead in its current form, Obamacare lives another day.

That leaves a familiar Georgia face, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, in charge of implementing the law, one that he’s vilified for the past seven years.

As health chief, the former Roswell congressman has nearly unparalleled power to determine how health care gets delivered in America. Through special rule makings, guidance and regulatory tweaks at HHS, Price can make what are essentially unilateral changes to loosen the grip of the Affordable Care Act or tweak aspects of Medicare that could have a major impact on doctors and patients.

Read more: Georgia stakeholders anxious and confused over health care fight 

Millions of people who depend on the exchanges created by Obamacare are reliant on Price and HHS to make sure the country’s individual markets are run properly.

For his part, Price has taken every turn possible to express his displeasure with the Affordable Care Act and has suggested he’ll do little to bolster its markets, particularly after President Donald Trump called for the law to collapse under its own weight.

“Obamacare is flawed, failing and harming the American people with higher costs and fewer health care choices,” Price said Tuesday.

Read more about Secretary Price’s power to shape Obamacare on myAJC.


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