HHS nom­i­nee Price likely to be grilled over health­care stock trad­ing at con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Shan­non Much­more

U.S. Rep Tom Price will likely have to an­swer many ques­tions about his fi­nan­cial deal­ings dur­ing a ten­ta­tively sched­uled con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing where sen­a­tors, at least, Democrats, are likely to grill him on his stock trad­ing.

The Se­nate Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee sched­uled a hear­ing for the HHS sec­re­tary nom­i­nee for Jan. 18.

The pow­er­ful Repub­li­can or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon from Ge­or­gia has come un­der re­cent scru­tiny for al­legedly trad­ing more than $300,000 in shares of about 40 health-re­lated com­pa­nies in the past four years while de­bat­ing leg­is­la­tion in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives that would af­fect those com­pa­nies.

Price has served as chair­man of the House Bud­get Com­mit­tee and was also on the Health Sub­com­mit­tee of the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee.

Se­nate Democrats last week urged the Of­fice of Con­gres­sional Ethics to in­ves­ti­gate Price’s fi­nan­cial deal­ings.

The Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee is also ex­pected to hold a hear­ing on Price’s con­fir­ma­tion.

Democrats have strongly op­posed Price’s nom­i­na­tion be­cause of his sup­port for re­peal­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act and for pri­va­tiz­ing Medi­care. Sev­eral in­dus­try groups have come out in sup­port of Price’s nom­i­na­tion, but many doc­tors have in­de­pen­dently op­posed his nom­i­na­tion.

The Trump tran­si­tion team was quick to de­fend ac­cu­sa­tions against the nom­i­nee.

“Hypocrisy is ap­par­ently alive and well this morn­ing in Wash­ing­ton,” Trump tran­si­tion spokesman Phil Blando said in a state­ment, adding that the same ques­tions should be asked of Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Shel­don White­house (D-R.I.), “who own and have traded hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and health in­sur­ance com­pany stocks.”


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