Donald Trump’s health secretary defends White House party for mostly white men

Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary has responded to criticism over an apparent lack of diversity at a White House party held to celebrate the US President’s new healthcare bill – by claiming at least two women were present.

Tom Price claimed several woman were “leading in this area of healthcare” after a photo of the gathering drew criticism for showing an almost entirely white, male crowd celebrating the passing of Mr Trump’s American Health Care Act, which opponents say will have a disproportionately negative impact on women.

Asked about the image during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Mr Price said: “Look at that picture: Congresswoman Diane Black, the chair of the Budget Committee – I was standing next to her. Seema Verma, the administrator of [Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services], I was standing right next to her.”

Donald Trump’s new healthcare bill ‘disproportionately targets women’

Quizzed by host Andrea Mitchell as to why he could only mention two women among a large group of men, Mr Price responded: “These are prominent individuals who are leading in this area of healthcare.

“The goal is to make certain that every single American – men, women, rich, poor, old, young – have the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their families, not that government forces them to buy. That’s the change.”

A different image of the event showed seven women standing among dozens of men.

Mr Trump’s American Health Care Act was passed by the House of Representatives last week with a majority of just four. It will now move to the Senate, where it is expected to encounter fresh opposition.

Republican members of the House of Representatives headed straight to the White House for a celebration after passing the bill.

The plan is the culmination of Mr Trump’s long-standing vow to scrap Obamacare – the name by which Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is commonly known.

Mr Obama’s policy promoted…

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