Seldom does America have before it a team of cabinet nominees with the professional depth, maturity, cerebral and management experience – not to mention sector-leading individual credentials – to match those now before the US Senate for confirmation. Nor has urgency ever been higher, with a new President inaugurated and countless leftover problems mounded and mounting.
Specifically, the urgency is highest for nominees leading departments tied to rule of law, security and health care. In many ways, it could not be higher. Yet here we are – waiting, wrangling over fake news, political inanities and ridiculous Democratic-driven contortions, as America waits. Enough. Having confirmed Generals Mattis and Kelly, let us now get the principal nominees out, starting with Dr. Tom Price. Suffer all Americans no more political delays.
Senate Democrats, apparently seeking revenge for a lost election, motivated by self-defeating venality or personal attention and advancement, have decided to attack every nominee at every turn, deliberately slowing the process, citing spurious media reports, drawing illogical conclusions from provided information – all to make what they think are winning political points. This low theater is not helping them – or any of us. It simply confirms that change is overdue, and disservices both the American people and the US Senate’s historic role in our Constitutional democracy.
Of special note is poor treatment that the Democrats in the US Senate, some of whom are up for reelection in two years, have subjected Dr. Price to – the President’s waiting nominee to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In an effort to blunt the President’s commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare – that sudden, partisan swerve into socialized medicine, both unsustainable and ineffective – they are throwing the kitchen sink at Dr. Price. The message of older Americans is clear – stop it.
Democrats have twisted prejudice and complicit fake news providers to focus on a spurious issue of stock options. They argue that Dr. Price, a seasoned medical professional and congressmen, whom all colleagues know to be of high integrity, purchased options to benefit himself. Beyond the baseless imputation of bad motives to a standard transaction, they also fail to acknowledge that each purchase was reported to the Congressional Ethics office and was in complete compliance with the STOCK Act. More to the point, if the lens were to focus across Congress, this is both proper and accepted; in fact it is likely a common practice for members of Congress and staff who are also managing, as citizens, their own retirement and investment accounts.
Let’s get away from these spitball tactics, and get down to brass tacks. Beyond high integrity, Dr. Price is a lifetime doctor of pedigree and high repute. He is an orthopaedic surgeon, and objectively created one of the best practices in the country. He left that practice with the same motivation that brought many Americans to the polls, frustration. He ran for Congress to fix healthcare, on a national level. His selfless sacrifice is what we should want in our government officials – more, it is what we now need and greatly.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and others have rightfully pointed out that several members on the HELP Committee themselves owned stocks in medical device companies or pharmaceutical companies, which was and is neither wrong nor suspect, but represents standard portfolio diversification across the top half-dozen American sectors. All have presumably been – as he has plainly been – thoughtful and transparent. Nevertheless, Vocal Democrats are now singling out Dr. Price as somehow different, launching what Senator Hatch has called a “hypocritical attack on his good character.”
Enough. This foolishness must stop.
America is in crisis across multiple sectors and dimensions. The new President needs a full and working cabinet in place – as any president would – to run the Federal Government. That socialist-leaning Democrat Senators are disaffected with America’s return to freedom, individual responsibility, freer markets, lower taxes and accountability is of no moment – although it should be at the next election cycle. That America is fed up with their high deductibles, low premiums, no choices, and a do-as-you-are-told socialist health care system – matters. The right choice for every Senator on the confirming committee and for the US Senate as a whole is to be, as Dr. Price has been, thoughtful, patient, dutiful, responsible and effective. The first step in that direction, is to swiftly confirm him – and then the other nominees. America is waiting. Let us get on with it.
By Dan Weber, President of AMAC, representing 1.2 million older Americans in every State.