Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary

Alex Azar previously worked as Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary during the George W. Bush administration

"Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary", Trump wrote on Twitter.

On Nov. 13, President Trump nominated Alex Azar as secretary of Health and Human Services, a role that was vacated after Tom Price resigned in late September after it was reported that he spent $1 million of taxpayers' dollars on private air travel while on the job.

As a top HHS official during the George W. Bush administration, the Yale law graduate developed an insider's familiarity with the complex world of federal health care regulation, serving first as the department's chief lawyer and later as deputy secretary.

Azar, 50, a lawyer by training, has spent most of the past 10 years with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, rising to president of its key US affiliate before leaving in January to start his own consulting firm.

Trump has a track record of making industry-friendly nominations, such as tapping former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and wealthy investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce. In an October letter to Trump, Sens.

President Donald Trump may occasionally erupt with passionate criticism for biopharma companies and the execs who run them, but once again he's going with an industry insider for a top government post.

Azar's nominations to HHS in the Bush era sailed through the Senate.

He'll be working with FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, another industry insider now in charge of regulating the business.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House but have repeatedly failed to repeal and replace Obama's Affordable Care Act, prompting Trump to take steps on his own to dismantle the program.

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