Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), along with CPC Healthcare Taskforce Chair Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), released the following statement condemning the confirmation of controversial pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services is responsible for the health of millions of Americans. Our country must have a leader at HHS who understands the challenges of affordable health care for American families and will support policies that help the entire country live healthier, longer lives. We have opposed Alex Azar’s nomination from the beginning. The Senate’s decision today to confirm Azar turns a blind-eye to his past actions and likely involvement in drug price gouging while leading the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly.

Attorneys General in five states have issued subpoenas of Eli Lilly regarding its pricing of insulin while Mr. Azar was a senior executive. The confirmation of Mr. Azar is an unfortunate indication that the Trump Administration and Republicans are not committed to lowering prescription drug prices or changing the practice of putting high-ranking industry officials in the position of regulating their former (and possibly future) employers.                                                        

The CPC strongly supports fair drug pricing practices and quality health care for all. We will continue to resist appointees from the Trump Administration who fail to meet the basic standards of integrity and a genuine commitment to serving all Americans –rather than just the wealthy or corporations.”


The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.


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