Trump Health Pick Caught In Insider Trading Scandal
Last year, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company. Well, CNN found out and their report is raising new ethics concerns about the President-elect’s cabinet.
Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that industry analysts believe would significantly hurt Zimmer-Biomet financially once fully implemented, CNN reported.
According to the report, after Price offered his bill to provide Zimmer-Biomet and other companies he invested in relief from the CMS regulation, the company’s political action committee donated to the congressman’s re-election campaign, records show.
Now, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into potential violations of the STOCK Act by Rep. Price.
“The President-elect claims he wants to drain the swamp, but Congressman Price has spent his career filling it up,” Schumer said.
Schumer, who made the comments in a statement and on Twitter, was responding to a CNN report published earlier in the day alleging that Price had purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer last March “days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company.” CNN also reported that the company’s political action committee donated to the congressman’s re-election campaign after the legislation was introduced.
Following a Wall Street Journal report in December that Price had traded stocks in dozens of health industry companies while sponsoring or co-sponsoring legislation involving the industry, Schumer similarly requested an investigation, but Republicans dismissed his request.
At the time, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen formally filed a request with the Office of Congressional Ethics to look into the stock purchases and requested the Securities and Exchange Commission look into Price’s investments.
Price is the current head of the House budget committee. He is set to appear before the Senate health committee on Wednesday for his confirmation hearing.
A spokesman for the Trump transition team told reporters that a broker had made the stock purchase, and Price “had no knowledge or input” into it. And they expect the American people to believe that.
Read the full CNN report here.