The Newnan Times-Herald

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Westmoreland enthusiastic about Price pick

  • By Walter Jones
  • |
  • Nov. 30, 2016 - 12:15 AM

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland said Tuesday he’s supportive of the choice of a fellow Georgia congressman as the next secretary of health and human services.

Westmoreland, a Grantville Republican in the final weeks of representing the 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, lauded the selection of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., by President-elect Donald Trump.

“I think it’s one of the greatest picks that Trump could have made,” Westmoreland said while in Newnan. “I told him this morning: I said, ‘Tom, finally, I feel like there’s somebody in one of these agencies that is going to do something rather than talk about things.’ So, I’m excited about it.”

Westmoreland and Price served together for eight years in the Georgia General Assembly before their election to Congress. Westmoreland had risen to become Republican leader in the state House while Price was the Republican leader in the state Senate.

Westmoreland took credit for convincing Price to run for Congress in 2004 when both won that year.

While Westmoreland concentrated on national-security issues in Washington, Price, a former surgeon, focused on health policy, becoming one of the most vocal critics in Congress of Obamacare.

“Tom is so smart and dedicated,” Westmoreland said. “When some of us were going out to eat, you could look in Tom’s office, and he was in there working. He’s just a workaholic.”

Price was an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign and his vow to replace Obamacare.

Other members of the Georgia delegation also praised Price.

“By nominating Tom to fill this post, President-elect Trump is signaling his commitment to repealing Obamacare,” said U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. “With Tom at the helm, we can begin implementing free-market principles that will increase choice and lower the cost of health care for families and businesses.”

But Democrats have been quick to blast his nomination, calling it evidence that the Trump administration will be repressive of minority groups.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a more alarming or inappropriate pick for HHS than Tom Price,” said Michael Smith, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “If confirmed, we would have a HHS secretary with a lengthy record of hostility toward women, the LGBTQ community, and those in dire need of affordable health care.”