Press Release

AFT President Weingarten on the Confirmation of Alex Azar

For Release: 

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Richard A. Fowler
202/393-6355; Cell: 202/412-7745

WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the confirmation of Alex Azar for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:

“The health and human services secretary is supposed to protect the health and well-being of the nation, not of big pharmaceutical. This starts with implementing the nation’s healthcare safety net—Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act—and taking on escalating problems like skyrocketing drug prices and the opioid epidemic.  

“Instead of looking for someone with those qualities, the GOP-controlled Senate confirmed a Big Pharma executive who has a reputation for putting corporate profits over the interests of patients and their families. Azar’s confirmation is just another sign that President Trump and his administration intend to continue to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, threatening care for millions of Americans who have benefited from the transformative healthcare law.

“In confirming Azar, Trump and the GOP are going backward on their promise to fight escalating drug prices and to put America’s health first.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.