By Leon Collins
President Donald Trump has just nominated Alex Azar to be his next Secretary of Health and Human Services, to replace Tom Price, whom resigned in disgrace. As usual, instead of holding a press event to introduce his nominee to the public and laud his accomplishments, Trump posted a tweet.
There is no reason to believe Azar will help to "lower drug prices."
LGBT people, minorities, women, and anyone who benefits from ObamaCare and the protections the Affordable Care Act has delivered to Americans should be greatly concerned.
Azar until recently was the president of Lilly USA, the American affiliate of Eli Lilly, an international pharmaceutical giant. That alone should be disqualifying, but in Trumpland it's considered a plus. Over half of Trump's nominees come from industries they supposedly are regulating as public servants in the Trump administration.
But there's a good deal more for Americans to worry about with Azar.
A donor to Trump, he fully supports the complete repeal of ObamaCare. Before becoming the president of a Big Pharma behemoth, Azar worked in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, but he also served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most far right wing justices to ever serve on the nation's highest court.
Azar is also a member of the far right wing Federalist Society, which advocates for the false belief that the Constitution is not a living document designed to be interpreted, but rather that its words are to mean only and exactly what they did at the time they were written. Scalia, along with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, are also members.
During the Clinton years Azar helped prosecute the failed Whitewater case against the Clintons, which no doubt has only endeared him to Trump.
"The swamp only gets worse," liberal think tank and advocacy group Public Citizen wrote last month on news Azar was under consideration. "Tom Price supported Big Pharma in the U.S. Congress. Now apparently Trump has decided to cut out the middleman, and let a pharmaceutical executive literally run the health department."