U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Members of the Senate Committee on Finance:
On behalf of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the longest-standing public women’s foundation in the country, I write to express our opposition to the confirmation of Representative Tom Price as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
For 44 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has supported women- and women of color-led grassroots movements for women’s health across the country. We were one of the earliest funders to support community-based advocacy led by and for women living with HIV and AIDS, expand access to sex education, and speak out about the disproportionate impact of the Zika virus on women of color. Today, we continue to fight for reproductive justice for all women, understanding that access to comprehensive, affordable health care impacts all aspects of women’s lives, determining their ability to live and parent with dignity.
As Secretary of HHS, Representative Price would threaten our vision of a just and equal world.
While in Congress, Representative Price actively worked to thwart women’s access to comprehensive health care, including contraception and abortion. He has voted against federal funding for abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood, thereby targeting our most marginalized communities’ – including low-wage women, women of color, transgender and gender non-conforming people – access to lifesaving care. At a time when more and more states are passing legislation forcing health providers who predominantly serve these populations to close, the next Secretary of HHS should prioritize expanding health care access, not undercut it. We are deeply concerned that Representative Price would not just sideline conversations about reproductive health but use the regulatory and oversight power of HHS to impose further restrictions.
The Secretary of HHS is charged with protecting all Americans’ health. Yet Representative Price supports repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would strip 30 million people of their health insurance, including nearly 13 million who have benefitted from the expansion of Medicaid. Repeal would also take us back to a time when people could be denied or charged more for insurance on the basis of their sex or gender identity. Given that Representative Price has repeatedly voted against anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, it defies belief that he would work to vigorously enforce the existing anti-discriminations provisions under HHS’ purview, including in the ACA.
One need look no further than Representative Price’s legislative history to reach the conclusion that he is bad news for women’s health and ill-suited to serve as Secretary of HHS. However, recent allegations regarding Representative Price’s involvement in illegal stock trading are deeply troubling, and we urge the Committee to support a thorough investigation.
For all these reasons, we ask you to oppose the nomination of Representative Price as Secretary of HHS.
Teresa C. Younger
President and CEO
Ms. Foundation for Women