Senate confirms Alex Azar as Trump’s second health secretary

STAT – President Trump’s second health secretary won Senate approval Wednesday. Alex Azar will take on the leadership of a sprawling department shaken by the administration’s tumultuous first year.

The 55-43 vote to confirm the former drug company and government executive as secretary of Health and Human Services was largely along party lines.

A 50-year-old Ivy League-educated lawyer, Azar says he has four main priorities: to help curb the high cost of prescription drugs, make health insurance more affordable and available, continue bipartisan efforts to focus Medicare payments on quality, and confront the growing opioid addiction epidemic.

HHS has been without a Senate-confirmed secretary since Tom Price resigned last fall, amid an outcry over his use of costly private charter aircraft for official travel. As health secretary, Price had been a key supporting player in Trump’s ill-fated campaign to roll back President Obama’s health care law, an effort that fell far short of the full “repeal and replace” Republicans long promised.

Read more at STAT.