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Donald Trump has named Tom Price as his future health secretary.

The 62-year-old Georgia congressman and orthopedic surgeon is a strong critic of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.

He currently chairs the House of Representatives budget committee.

Tom Price will play a key role in Republican plans to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act (ObamaCare).a

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

In his campaign, Donald Trump vowed to repeal and replace the act, considered Barack Obama’s flagship measure.

However, he has since said he favors keeping certain provisions.

Donald Trump said Tom Price was a “tireless problem solver” and “the go-to expert on healthcare policy”.

“He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace ObamaCare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American,” the president-elect said in a statement.

Tom Price said he was looking forward to the opportunity of serving as health secretary on behalf of the American people.

He said his aim was to create a new system that worked for patients, families and doctors, adding that it should “protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit”.

Tom Price will be working closely with Seema Verma, who will lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees government health programs and insurance standards.

“Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system,” Donald Trump said.

Earlier this month Donald Trump, who has pledged to repeal the healthcare bill, said he would keep some parts of the law such as allowing young adults to be insured on their parents’ policies and banning insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover, three days after being smashed by the massive storm.

More than 80 people are now known to have died, 37 in New York City alone, and others remain missing.

About 4.6 million people are still without power, and there are fuel shortages across the region.

The National Guard is to deliver a million meals and bottled water to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

The number of dead in the US has exceeded the toll from the Caribbean, where 69 people were killed by Sandy.

The storm could cost the US $50 billion, according to forecasting firm Eqecat, doubling the previous estimate.

In New York, limited subway services returned on Thursday, though four of the seven train tunnels under the East river remained flooded.

Fares on commuter trains, subways and buses have been temporarily waived in a bid to entice commuters off the traffic-choked roads.

Many of the petrol stations in the city and the state of New Jersey remained closed, and fights broke out amid long queues on forecourts.

The city authorities are only permitting vehicles with three passengers or more to cross into Manhattan.

Amtrak plans to restart its East Coast service – the busiest train line in the US – on Friday.

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover

In lower Manhattan, where Sandy brought a record 14 ft (4.2 m) tidal surge, subway services are still closed and hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday ordered the National Guard to help deliver some 30 tractor trailers of supplies to one million residents.

He has told relief workers to prioritize the elderly and poor, especially those living in high-rise blocks.

The death toll rose overnight as the extent of destruction became clearer in the south-western New York City borough of Staten Island, where at least 15 bodies have been recovered.

The storm, one of the biggest to hit the US in decades, swamped the low-lying district with tidal surges, lifting whole houses off their foundations.

Many residents in that community ignored official evacuation warnings and stayed behind to guard their homes.

Two boys, aged two and four, are missing after they were torn from their mother’s arms by floodwaters, as they emerged from their vehicle.

Police searching the area found a body on Thursday morning, the New York Post reports.

An 89-year-old woman died after spending 12 hours in her deluged Staten Island home, reports the New York Daily News.

Her 65-year-old daughter was unable to save her. Helpless neighbors heard their screams for help but could not reach them.

Also on Staten Island, John Filipowicz, 51, and his 20-year-old son John were found dead under debris in the basement of their home.

Breezy Point, in New York City, where fire razed 111 homes, was described by one onlooker as resembling a war zone.

Emergency crews are working to reach the most badly hit areas.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, some 20,000 people were still trapped in their homes amid sewage-tainted floodwaters.

The National Guard is helping with evacuations and meal distributions.

One frustrated householder reportedly inflated an air mattress and floated to Hoboken city hall to find out why supplies had not yet arrived.

Jersey City has issued an overnight curfew as well as a driving ban.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour to inspect the damage to New Jersey’s shattered Atlantic coastline.

He put campaigning for next week’s US election on hold for three days to manage the disaster response.

The cyclone also caused havoc further inland.

The state of West Virginia has seen up to 5 ft of snow in some areas, after Hurricane Sandy collided with two winter weather fronts.

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