Trump’s pick to head Health and Human Services just got busted in a humdinger of a scandal. He didn’t even make it to his confirmation hearing date and people are already suggesting he may be dead in the water.
Republican Rep. Tom Price was found to have quietly invested in a medical device company then just days later written up a bill that would enrich that company (and himself). Needless to say, a congressman intentionally creating a fortune for himself by abusing his power is a big no-no.
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.
But this isn’t the end. The corruption is actually just getting started.
Almost immediately after Price introduced the bill that would financial benefit Zimmer Biomet, the company donated to Price’s reelection campaign. So Price got paid twice – first by investing in the company he was about to help (in what amounts to insider trading), then afterwards when the company gave his campaign money (in what amounts to a bribe). Unreal.
It’s unclear how Trump will respond to this scandal. Even when faced with demonstrable proof that one of his picks is a corrupt scam artist, he frequently ignores the critics and stands by his guy. For all his talk of “crooked Hillary,” Trump seems unfazed by shady people working for him.
Price, along with apparently being a monster, is also Trump’s point-man on repealing Obamacare. Just like Price’s career in Congress, his approach to the ACA is one of looking out solely for the rich. As CNN contributor Ford Vox put it:
Price didn’t just sit and fester over the years. He’s got a plan now
But it’s not written with the uninsured and the poor at the forefront. No, the driving concept behind Price’s Empowering Patients First Act is protecting the choices of patients who have money.
Price appears to be obsessed with money. Not only was he just busted taking kickbacks from Zimmer Biomet, he was recently caught by the Wall Street Journal having “traded roughly $300,000 in shares over the past four years in health companies while pursuing legislation that could impact them.” He’s treated his job in Congress as one of how best to manipulate the stock market to benefit his own portfolio. Now Trump wants him to control the health industry.
For those of Trump’s supporters who voted for him because of his promise to “drain the swamp,” this is Trump laughing in your faces.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images