What questions await HHS nominee Alex Azar

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Former Eli Lilly executive and President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, will face his first confirmation hearing before the Senate health committee on Nov. 29. He’s likely to get plenty of queries from Democrats on his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as his actions as a pharmaceutical executive, such as Eli Lilly’s price hikes on insulin.

STAT collected seven possible questions Azar will likely have to answer, such as what he would do to bring down drug prices. While he has acknowledged that “patients are having to pay too much for drugs,” he’s put the blame on insurance companies. He’s also opposed the idea of importing drugs from other countries or allowing Medicare to negotiate prices.

Beyond pharma issues and his personal and financial connections to the industry, Azar may also get questions about his plans for Medicare and Medicaid. He’s been a skeptic of value-based care in the past and also advocated for a controversial overhaul of Medicaid into a block grant program.

The last HHS Secretary, Tom Price, MD, faced four hours of questions from this same committee earlier this year.

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