01.24.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Opposes Nomination of Alex Azar to be Health and Human Services Secretary

Trump Administration’s sabotage of the health care market has contributed to a 36 percent premium spike in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, will vote against the nomination of Alex Azar to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and today released the following statement:

“In Wisconsin and across the country, health care premiums are going up because of the uncertainty and chaos created by the Trump Administration’s repeated sabotage of our health care system over the last year. We need an HHS Secretary who will put an end to this sabotage and take action to strengthen and stabilize the health insurance marketplace so that more people can gain access to quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Baldwin. “Mr. Azar went through the revolving door from drug companies to the federal government. Powerful pharmaceutical corporations already have too much influence in Washington and Wisconsin families face jacked up prices for the life-saving medications they need. Wisconsin needs an HHS Secretary who will do right by people, not the powerful. I don’t have confidence Mr. Azar will do that.”

For the last year, Senator Baldwin has repeatedly called on the Trump administration to stop the sabotage of our nation’s health care system. She has been sounding the alarm about these destructive efforts, in particular President Trump’s decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments that make health care more affordable for 110,000 people in Wisconsin.

Senator Baldwin has also worked on bipartisan solutions to strengthen and stabilize the health insurance market and improve access to health care. Senator Baldwin is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Murray-Alexander health care stabilization legislation, and led the effort in the Senate to restore investments in enrollment outreach and in-person assistance, which the Trump Administration gutted last year. In-person assistance is especially critical to ensuring younger adults sign up for health care, which will further help stabilize the market and lower costs.

A fierce advocate for fair drug pricing and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable, Senator Baldwin has made addressing skyrocketing prescription drug prices a top priority. Senator Baldwin introduced bipartisan legislation, the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to address skyrocketing prescription drug prices by requiring transparency for pharmaceutical corporations that plan to increase drug prices.