The Senate Finance Committee voted 15-12 this afternoon to advance the president’s nomination of Alex Azar to serve as Health and Human Services secretary. The former president of Lilly USA and deputy HHS secretary under the George W. Bush administration last week told the committee he would focus on addressing the high cost of drugs; making health care more affordable, available and individualized; shifting the health care system from paying for sickness and procedures to health and outcomes; and tackling the opioid epidemic. In a statement in November, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said Azar’s “extensive background in business, health care and medicine distinguishes him as a uniquely qualified candidate for the vacancy.”

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