Senate Dem asks for SEC investigation of Trump HHS pick

Jan 18, 2017, 00:57
Senate Dem asks for SEC investigation of Trump HHS pick

This comes just days before he's slated to testify at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

"The only pattern we see emerging is that Senate Democrats and their liberal media allies can not abide by the notion that Dr. Tom Price is uniquely qualified to lead HHS and will stop at nothing to smear his reputation", he said. Barely a week later, the senior Republican lawmaker introduced legislation created to delay until 2018 a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement formula that analysts warned would be financially harmful to the company when fully implemented, according to the report.

Donald Trump's nominee to be the country's next health care czar invested a year ago as much as $90,000 in six pharmaceutical companies shortly before leading a legislative and public relations effort that benefited those specific companies, records show.

Less than a week later he introduced legislation that would have delayed the creation of a new regulation that would have affected the medical device manufacturer. And that posed a significant threat to Zimmer Biomet, which bills itself as a worldwide leader in hip and knee replacements.

On two separate occasions Zimmer Biomet's PAC donated $1,000 to Price's re-election committee.

"Any effort to connect the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Dr. Price to any campaign contribution is demonstrably false", said Phil Blando, the Trump transition spokesman.

Zimmer Biomet is included in a broker-directed account and that the stock was purchased without his knowledge, a Price aide said after the story published. But Morgan Stanley did not inform Price of the Zimmer Biomet stock until April 14, according to House financial disclosure forms on the Georgia congressman's transactions.

Further, Price introduced his legislation before he knew of the stock purchase. The company, which makes hip and knee implants, would have been among the hardest hit if the new regs are fully implemented.

Price, a physician who is chairman of the House budget committee and a member of the House ways & means panel, introduced the "Healthy Inpatient Procedures Act" March 23, 2016.

He called it "a clear and troubling pattern of Congressman Price trading stock and using his office to benefit the companies in which he is investing".

The accusation adds to Trump's issues with conflicts of interest and have led to calls for Price to face an investigation by the Office of Government Ethics. "The Office of Congressional Ethics needs to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into these potential violations of the STOCK Act before Rep. Price's nomination moves forward".

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