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Dems Want To Make Price Nomination A Proxy War For GOP's Medicare Plans

AP Photo / Bill Clark

In the past Price has supported plans to privatize Medicare, or, in Republican terms, convert it to a "premium support" system. He also said earlier this month that he wanted to see GOP lawmakers overhaul Medicare through the 2018 budget reconciliation process in the next six to eight months.

Schumer said Tuesday that Democrats would stand united against any attempts to "privatize, voucherize or any other -ize you can think of when it comes to Medicare."

"So to Republicans considering going down this path, my advice to you is simple: turn back," he said.

The New York Democrat said that he had urged his caucus to engage in "thorough, thorough vetting," and ask "very, very careful and strong questions" during Price's confirmation process.

"And my guess is that the American people will urge Democrats and Republicans not to put in a nominee who has these views. Now maybe he’ll change his views. Maybe he’ll modify his views," Schumer said. "But he is going to get a lot of very strong and very thorough questions about the kinds things that he will propose."

Due to changes to the filibuster rules Democrats had made when they were in control of the Senate, Republicans only need a simple majority vote to confirm Price to the post. Schumer expressed some measured optimism that the issue of Medicare could bring enough Republicans over to the Democrats' side and block the nomination.

"I think there’s a chance that his nomination will fail," Schumer said. "This is the kind of issue where Democrats have been completely united against privatizing Medicare, and a lot of Republicans have been dancing on the head of a pin."

About The Author


Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.