Trump's pick for health chief rides the Truth-O-Meter
U.S. Rep. Tom Price, a orthopedic surgeon who has represented his Roswell-based House district for 12 years, was picked Tuesday by President-elect Donald Trump’s to be scretary of health and human services.
Price has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act as well as the federal tax code and the soaring national debt.
The congressman has also spent some time on the AJC Truth-O-Meter over the years, courtesy of the non-partisan fact-checkers at PolitiFact and PolitiFact Georgia.
Below are summaries of some of our fact-checks. For a complete list of Price fact-checks, please see
To comment on any of our rulings, or to offer an alternate ruling, readers can go to www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia/.
Tom Price on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 in Twitter posts:
Americans spend more than $160 billion and 6 billion hours per year complying with the tax code.
Prices’ figures, used in two Twitter posts, can be traced to the IRS’ independent ombudsman.
Those figures, while difficult to quantify, have become the accepted standard for calculating compliance time and costs.
We rated Price’s claim True.
Tom Price on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 in a press release:
New federal projections estimate that the health care overhaul "will cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years — well above the $940 billion Democrats originally claimed."
This jump was far less than what Price’s numbers suggested.
PolitiFact National also considered what the projected cost of the health care overhaul would be if it took into account aspects of the plan that would pay for some of the care. It felt this "net" cost number would be a more complete portrayal of the plan’s costs.
It found that these net cost projections actually declined. The CBO’s 2010 estimate totaled $784 billion. The 2012 report revised it downward to $768 billion.
Price’s claim that the health care overhaul "will cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years — well above the $940 billion Democrats originally claimed" uses numbers that are not comparable to make an incorrect assertion.
When you do the math correctly, the gross cost projection increased by less than 9 percent.
We rated Price’s claim False.
Tom Price on Sunday, December 18th, 2011 in Op-Ed:
"[N]early one in three primary care doctors are forced to limit the number of Medicare patients they see."
The congressman’s number was sensible, but his language was a bit overheated. It’s not clear that the physicians who drop or restrict Medicare were "forced" to do so because of declining reimbursements or red tape.
Many of the primary care physicians responding to the Center for Studying Health System Change survey said one of the reasons they accept so few new Medicare patients is that their practices are full.
We rated Price’s statement Mostly True.
Tom Price on Friday, June 29th, 2012 in a television interview:
Sixteen thousand new Internal Revenue Service agents will be "empowered to enforce" the new health care legislation.
The IRS did have to hire agents to implement these changes.
But Price’s statement misstated the findings of a partisan estimate. Ways and Means Republicans said that about 16,000 "employees," not "agents," may be hired to enforce the bill’s provisions. They also acknowledged that the actual number of hires may be lower.
IRS budget requests for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years show they asked for about 375 more agents — far less than 16,000.
And like other pols who have used versions of this talking point, Price used such a specific figure that he suggests a degree of certainty that doesn’t exist.
We rated Price’s statement Mostly False.
Tom Price on Friday, January 29th, 2010 in a Republican retreat in Baltimore:
"Mr. President, multiple times from your administration there have come statements that Republicans have no ideas and no solutions" on health care.
The White House didn’t dispute that aides portrayed Republicans that way.
But a spokeswoman said the Democratic health care plan includes many amendments that were proposed by Republicans.
Still, Price is right. Obama and his aides did sat the Republicans had no ideas on health care and other issues.
We rated Price’s statement True.
Tom Price on Monday, March 28th, 2016 in a Medium post:
A study "from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and Dartmouth concluded that Medicaid’s value to its beneficiaries is significantly lower than the actual cost of the program."
Academics did conclude that only a fraction of what Medicaid spends directly replaces what its beneficiaries would have had to pay for their health care costs.
But even the Medicaid money that doesn’t replace the beneficiary’s own spending does pay for their health care. This conflicts with the resolution’s claim that the paper showed that Medicaid’s "value to its beneficiaries is significantly lower than the actual cost of the program."
The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details.
We rated Price’s statement Half True.