VIDEO: Under Questioning from Senator Stabenow, HHS Nominee Tom Price Fails to Say if Women Should Have to Pay More for Insurance

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C. – During today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) asked him if he believes women should have to pay more for health insurance.  Under questioning from Senator Stabenow, Rep. Tom Price failed to say whether health plans should continue to include maternity care and coverage for people with preexisting conditions. 

Video of the exchange is available here and a transcript is included below.  To watch the full hearing, click here

Senator Stabenow: When President Trump said last weekend that insurance was going to be much better, do you think that insurance without protections for those with preexisting conditions or without maternity coverage or without mental health coverage or insurance that would reinstate caps on cancer treatment is better? 


Rep Price: I don’t know that that’s what he was referring to.


Senator Stabenow: Well he said it would be better.  And if we took away the rules to cover people with preexisting conditions or stopped the other coverage we have now, I’m just wondering if you define that as better.


Rep. Price: Well, you’d have to give me a specific…What’s better for you may not be better for me or someone else and that’s the point I’m trying to get across that patients need to be at the center of this, not government.  Should government be deciding this or patients be deciding these things?


Senator Stabenow: Prior to the Affordable Care Act, about 70 percent of the private plans that a woman could purchase in the marketplace did not cover basic maternity care.  Do you think that that’s better?  Not to cover basic maternity care?


Rep. Price: I presume that she wouldn’t purchase that coverage if she needed it.


Senator Stabenow: She would have to pay more, just as, in general, being a woman was a preexisting condition.  That is the reason why we have a basic set of services covered under healthcare.  This is something where if a woman wanted to pay more, she could find maternity care.  We said in the Affordable Care Act, that’s pretty basic.  And for over half the population that’s women, maternity care should be covered.