Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary

Trump Chooses Alex Azar for Health and Human Services Secretary

The White House just nominated Alex Azar as top health official, replacing Tom Price after his private plane scandal

President Trump aims to fill the role of Health and Human Services Secretary, vacant since Tom Price resigned in lieu of reports about his questionable travel records.

On Twitter on Monday, Trump announced the nomination of Alex Azar, who until January had served as president of the US arm of Eli Lilly & Co., based in Indianapolis.

"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!", Trump exclaimed.

If he's confirmed, Azar would replace Dr. Tom Price, who resigned from HHS in September after a Politico investigation found that he had taken private charter aircraft on work-related trips at times when cheaper commercial flights were available.

Trump tweeted the news Monday morning while on his trip to Asia.

Aznar served in the George W. Bush White House on the domestic policy council and at HHS is a a former president of drug giant Eli Lilly.

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The nomination of Alex Azar is unusual because HHS secretaries have tended to come from the ranks of elected officials such as governors, leaders in academia and medicine, or top executive branch managers - not industries regulated by the department.

"I'm not one to say many good things about Obamacare, but one of the nice things in it is it does give a tremendous amount authority to the secretary", Azar said during an interview with Bloomberg TV in June.

Azar worked as HHS deputy secretary from 2005 to 2007 under President George W. Bush.

"Would (Azar) have been better off if he had been meditating in an ashram after serving as deputy secretary?" asked Troy. He's seen as an expert on government health care regulation. Early enrollment in Obamacare plans earlier this month was also up considerably compared to a year ago.

President Donald Trump may occasionally erupt with passionate criticism for biopharma companies and the execs who run them, but once again he's going with an industry insider for a top government post.

Grealy cited initiatives Azar undertook with insurance companies while at Lilly to shift to reimburse drug firms based on the quality of their products.

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