The shortlist to replace Tom Price as HHS Secretary

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The resignation of Tom Price, MD, as HHS Secretary, may cause a reshuffling of officials at its other agencies based on rumors of who is being considered as his replacement.

According to The Hill, two of the top contenders come from within the Trump administration: CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.

Verma was active in the administration’s push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and also has a close relationship with Vice President Mike Pence, having worked on Indiana’s Medicaid program when Pence was governor. Gottlieb has stayed out of the ACA fight and focused on pharmaceutical policy. His selection may be a signal the administration wants to pivot its healthcare focus to drug prices.

Some potential contenders have already said they’re not interested in the post. Among them is Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who founded and served as CEO of the for-profit hospital operator now known as the Hospital Corporation of America.

Conservative groups are pushing for former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who ran the state’s health department and served in HHS under President George W. Bush.

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