Ethics Concern Raised over HHS Nominee

Via CNN:  Trump’s cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it

Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.

Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN.

Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented


After Price offered his bill to provide Zimmer Biomet and other companies relief from the CMS regulation, the company’s political action committee donated to the congressman’s reelection campaign, records show.


The new revelation is the latest example of Price trading stock in a health care firm at the same time as pursuing legislation that could impact a company’s share price. The issue has become a major liability for the congressman after The Wall Street Journal reported last month that he traded roughly $300,000 in shares over the past four years in health companies while pursuing legislation that could impact them.

Draining the swamp, dontcha know.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. wr says:

    Well I’m sure Jason Chaffetz will launch an immediate investigation.

    Into whoever brought up the conflict, that is…

  2. Pete S says:

    You have to admire Donald Trump’s efficiency, it probably explains his business success. Four years is a short time for all of the corruption he expects from his team and himself, it helps to bring in secretaries like Mr. Price who will be able to hit the ground running.

  3. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    He never wanted to drain the swamp; he just wants to be the manager of the swamp business office for a few years. It makes perfect sense to me: Conservatives are in favor of favoring businesses and industries as long as they approve of the businesses and Trump wants to be the person in charge of picking industries to favor. And if he happens to pick up a few kopeks on the way, so much the better.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    If this kind of behavior was an outlier, that would be bad enough, but with Trump and his gang of deplorables, this is the norm…I wonder how long, if ever, will it take for so many of those who voted for him to realize that they have been played for complete fools…

  5. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Never gonna happen. Trump could start WWIII and they’d still be drooling over him as long as he keeps trashing the press and trashing the “elites.”

  6. Argon says:

    I sense this is not illegal as Congress has been in the habit of exempting themselves from laws others have to obey.

    Ethically, it sinks. It is completely unprofessional behavior.

  7. rachel says:

    With Trump nominees you should always ask, “So what’s wrong with this one?” AFAICT, Gen. Mattis is the only one who looks like he can do the job right, and he’s not eligible w/o special dispensation from Congress. Are there any other OK Trump picks?

  8. Pete S says:

    Bill Simmons used to write about the “Tyson Zone”, named for Mike Tyson. Essentially someone had entered the Tyson Zone when they had done so many strange things that no matter what you would hear about them, you could not dismiss it out of hand.

    Donald Trump has not been sworn in yet and his administration has already entered the Tyson Zone. It appears that 60% of the country knows it. This has to be some kind of record.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    The Trump administration is making Nixon look like a friggin’ choir-boy.