Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) is a Tea Party Republican who voted, last week, to repeal the Affordable Care Act without any shred of a plan to replace it. He is also Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency tasked with implementing the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and other public health programs, despite lingering questions about health care stocks Price purchased while working on legislation that would affect his holdings. (His lawyers today requested a retraction from CNN on their reporting about the timeline of said stocks.)
Because of these potential conflicts, and the terror many Americans feel about potentially losing what little health care they have, this confirmation hearing has been a grave one. So when Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) opened up his line of questioning with the kind of genial chit-chat we’ve gotten from the Republicans, you could be forgiven for your surprise, especially from a Democrat who’s held nominees’ feet to the fire for the past few weeks.
Well, it was a ruse. Turns out, his friendliness was a lead-in to an impassioned delivery about the hypocrisy of Republicans in their efforts to repeal ACA last week, and in doing so he contextualized the knotty relationship between the ACA and the budget better than anyone I’ve seen. His vehemence and anger really hammered home how alarming the Republicans’ proposal was—and it also seemed to shake Rep. Price to a tangible degree. Watch it all above, and give thanks that, despite the political climate, we still have some principled Dems who are willing to throw down when it needs to be.