Considering who makes up Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services and the actions they’ve taken already, it looks like we can only expect more of the same: attacks on the basic health care that millions rely on.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for Trump’s new HHS secretary nominee, former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar — who said earlier this year that the Affordable Care Act was “circling the drain” — to explain his questionable views on health care and make clear how he will put an end to the Trump administration's dangerous anti-woman and anti-science agenda.
Right now, millions of people are waiting on Alex Azar to answer a few simple questions:
1. Does he share the same anti-science, anti-contraception views as other HHS appointees?
The Trump administration has stacked the HHS with anti-women’s health ideologues hell-bent on attacking health care, including:
Teresa Manning, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs who oversees Title X, is an anti-women’s health extremist and longtime opponent of birth control.
Seema Verma is the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She thinks maternity coverage should be optional and manages the two programs that provide health care to the greatest number of women of all ages.
Valerie Huber, Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Health, has spent years promoting abstinence-only programs, which lack basis in fact, are ineffective, and encourage feelings of shame and confusion.
2. Does he believe women should be able to decide what the best birth control methods and lifestyles are for their own bodies with their doctors, or does he believe politicians should be involved?
Under the Trump administration, too many face the risk of losing access to birth control. In fact, over 62 million women just had their guaranteed no-copay birth control taken away. If Azar is confirmed as HHS Secretary, he could have the power to accelerate the Trump administration’s attacks and force women to pay more out of pocket for birth control.
For more than 50 years, birth control has been an essential part of women’s health and lives, and it has made a difference for millions of people. But now in 2017, as unbelievable as it sounds, the Trump administration is determined to flout established science, public opinion, and decades of social and economic progress that birth control has made possible — all to pursue an extreme agenda.
3. Does he believe the government should be allowed to block 2.4 million people from accessing essential care — including birth control and cancer screenings — at Planned Parenthood health centers?
Since President Trump took office, we’ve seen three separate versions of Trumpcare — all of which would have blocked patients who rely on Medicaid from getting their care at Planned Parenthood health centers. And who would this hurt the most? People of color, people living in rural areas, and people with low incomes. They represent the majority of Planned Parenthood’s patients, and they already face unfair systemic barriers to accessing health care. We need an HHS secretary who will protect access for patients who receive critical care at Planned Parenthood.
Every person deserves access to quality, affordable health care from a provider they know and trust. People have the right to access birth control and other basic health care like cancer screenings so they can stay healthy and plan their futures. Americans will not stand for an HHS secretary who would erode that right.
Now is the time to #AskAzar how he intends to protect health care access and put an end to the Trump administration's dangerous anti-woman and anti-science agenda.