Members of the Senate Finance Committee today voted 15 to 12 to support the nomination of Alex Azar II to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

President Donald Trump has nominated Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive, to succeed Tom Price as HHS secretary. Price resigned after running into criticism over travel costs. 

(Related: 5 Things Trump’s Health Secretary Pick Told Senators)

All Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve the Azar nomination.

Most Democrats present voted against Azar, but one Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., voted for the nomination.

The committee held the vote on the nomination without making a video available through the web.

A copy of the announcement of the results is available here.

Azar told committee members at a hearing last week that he supports the idea of letting states set their own health benefits mandates, including contraceptive benefits mandates.

He also said that he likes the idea of the U.S. Department of Labor proposal to let businesses join together to buy health coverage through multi-state association health plans. 

As HHS secretary, Azar would be in charge of managing Affordable Care Act requirements and programs.

He would also oversee the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs Medicare. He would play a major role in regulating Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement insurance plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. He could also play a major role in shaping long-term care programs.

—Read Trump Health Nominee Faces Another Grilling on U.S. Drug Costs on ThinkAdvisor. 


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