Alex Azar II, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, was the featured speaker at a private event for health care professionals in Shamblin Theater Thursday morning.
The “special event” was hosted by the Nashville Health Care Council and was not attended by students. Taking place at 10:30 AM, it displaced MASK Chapel, which was cancelled for the week.
After Tennessee governor Bill Haslam gave a brief welcoming address, Azar began his speech by thanking Lipscomb for hosting, and then introduced a piece of “good news” to his audience.
“Following President Trump’s election, he took decisive action to stabilize insurance markets and expand choices for American consumers,” Azar said. “This fall, we have seen these efforts begin to bear fruit, in the form of stable premiums and growing choices.”
Azar went on to describe the “disastrous results” of the ACA, including the “disappearing choices” it offers citizens.
“One of the best things about American healthcare is that we believe if you don’t like your plan, you don’t have to keep it,” Azar said. “It’s the polar opposite of Medicare for All, where, if you don’t like your plan, there’s no way to leave—it’s really the only option out there.”
Azar praised Trump’s actions regarding health care reform so far in his presidency.
“The president who was supposedly trying to sabotage the ACA has proven better at managing it than the president who wrote the law,” he said. “Under President Trump, premiums are dropping and choices are returning.”
The HCC regularly hosts events for their members in an effort to educate, unite, and “inspire global collaboration to improve health care…” according to the HCC’s website.
Nashville is an epicenter of the health care industry. Attendees said it was a welcome host city for today’s event.
“Lipscomb jumped to accommodate,” said Katie Schlacter, a spokesperson for the HCC.
However, not everyone at Lipscomb welcomed Azar’s presence. The Diverse Student Coalition called on students to come together in Zebi’s Lounge to show their disapproval of Health and Human Services’ role in Trump’s crackdown on immigration. The DSC declined to comment.
“We fully support students’ rights,” Schlacter said. The University was not available for comment.