Confirmation Hearing for HHS Nominee Alex Azar Set for Next Week

The Senate Finance Committee announced this week that it will hold a confirmation hearing for Alex Azar, nominee for the Secretary of the Department Health and Human Services, on Tuesday, January 9. Recall, President Donald Trump announced his selection of Azar for HHS in November.

Azar spent nearly a decade at pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, where he most recently served as president of U.S. operations before leaving in 2017. Prior to his time at Eli Lilly, Azar served as the HHS General Counsel from 2001 to 2005 and the Deputy Secretary from 2005 to 2007 under the George W. Bush Administration. Azar is generally regarded as a detail-oriented bureaucrat who has a deep understanding of the in-and-outs of the administrative and regulatory systems.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) indicated questions during the confirmation hearing will focus on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Should Azar receive approval from the Senate Finance Committee, the full U.S. Senate must confirm Azar with at least 51 senators in support.