PRICE’S HOLDING PRESENT A VARIETY OF CONFLICTS WITH HHS JOB

Price Had Traded Over $300,000 In Shares Of Medical Companies Since 2012.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the Health and Human Services Department traded more than $300,000 in shares of health-related companies over the past four years while sponsoring and advocating legislation that potentially could affect those companies’ stocks.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/22/16]

Price Sponsored Dozens Of Health-Related Bills While Investing In Healthcare Companies.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, bought and sold stock in about 40 health-care, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies since 2012, including a dozen in the current congressional session, according to a Wall Street Journal review of hundreds of pages of stock trades he filed with Congress.  In the same two-year period, he has sponsored nine and co-sponsored 35 health-related bills in the House. His stock trades included Amgen Inc., Bristol Meyers Squibb Co., Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer Inc. and Aetna Inc.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/22/16]

A “Good Government Group” Filed Ethics Inquiries With The SEC About Price’s Potential Insider Trading.  In January 2017 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, “New Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the top Democrats on the two committees vetting Price said the Office of Congressional Ethics and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should probe the possibility that Price participated in insider trading. The good government group Public Citizen filed inquiries with both entities Thursday morning.”  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 01/05/17]

PRICE GOT A DISCOUNT ON PHARMA STOCK AHEAD OF FDA REGULATION

Price Got A Sweetheart Deal On Privately Sold Shares Of A Foreign Biotech Firm.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “When tiny Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics needed to raise money last summer, it didn’t issue stock on the open market. Instead, it offered a sweetheart deal to “sophisticated U.S. investors,” company documents show. t sold nearly $1 million in discounted shares to two American congressmen sitting on House committees with the potential power to advance the company’s interests, according to company records and congressional filings. They paid 18 cents a share for a stake in a company that was rapidly escalating in value, rising to more than 90 cents as the company promoted an aggressive plan to sell to a major pharmaceutical company. Analysts said the stock price could go to $2.  One of the beneficiaries was Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican poised to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates pharmaceuticals.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

The Company Had An Explicit Strategy To Target Americans Because They Could Charge Them More.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “A review of corporate documents raises a more unusual aspect of the deal. Innate Immuno is a foreign company which, in documents and presentations, is explicit about a business strategy targeting the U.S. market, where the amount that can be charged for a new drug is generally far higher than in other countries.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

The Company Was Raising Money To Fast Track Approval Through HHS’ FDA.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “Innate Immuno has hinged its strategy on winning a preliminary green light for a new multiple sclerosis drug, known as MIS416, from the HHS’s Food and Drug Administration. It says in its private placement offering documents that money raised in the U.S. will help it finance the FDA approval process, which can take years. Innate Immuno CEO Simon Wilkinson could not be reached for comment.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

Former Bush Ethics Lawyer: Questions Remain Over Potential Insider Trading From Price.  In January 2017 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, “Members of Congress can buy and sell stocks, but can’t use insider knowledge when making investment decisions, said Richard W. Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who served as the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush and his staff from 2005-07.”  And, “In Price’s case, however, Painter said there was the lingering question of whether Price benefited from insider information in his acquisition of Innate Immunotherapeutics and other health care related companies.  ‘If he were in possession of material, non-public information and traded with that in his possession, that would be a criminal offense. That’s insider trading,’ Painter said. ‘If I were on the nominating committee, I wouldn’t vote to confirm until I heard the SEC was satisfied that there was no use of non-public information, or no reason to believe there was.  I’d want to know you won’t have a situation where he gets confirmed and then another shoe drops and you’ve got an HHS secretary under an SEC investigation.’”  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 01/12/17]

Price’s $50K-$100K Investment In Innate Was Among The Largest Purchases He Made Since 2012.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Price purchased between $50,000 and $100,000 in Innate shares in August, which was among the largest stock buys he had made since 2012, according to congressional financial disclosures. The investment was larger than his trades in more established pharmaceutical stocks like Pfizer and Merck.”  [New York Times, 01/13/17]

The Private Stock Sale To Price Came At About ¼ Of What The Shares Traded For A Few Months Later.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “With his discount from the private placements, Mr. Price would have purchased some stock at 25 Australian cents per share in August and some at 34 cents. The stock closed on Friday at $1.31.”  [New York Times, 01/13/17]

PRICE FREQUENTLY TRIES TO INTERVENE WITH INDEPENDENT REGULATORS

Kaiser Health News: Price Is The “Go-To Congressman” For Medical Special Interests.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Rep. Tom Price, the physician and Georgia Republican tapped for the nation’s leading health care job, has long criticized federal spending as excessive. Yet during his years in Congress, he’s worked hard to keep federal dollars flowing to his most generous campaign donors.  Price has been a go-to congressman, a review of his records show, for medical special interests hotly sparring with regulators or facing budget cuts.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

As A Congressman, Price Made Frequent Inquiries With Medical Regulators.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Over the past decade, he has waded into issues related to specific drugs and medical devices, making 38 inquiries with the federal Food and Drug Administration, according to federal records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. He questioned the FDA on his constituents’ behalf about matters as minute as a device for fertility treatment and an ingredient in pain creams.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

Kaiser Health News: Price Has “Gone To Bat” With Medical Regulators For Campaign Donors.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “In other cases, he has gone to bat for companies whose executives and employees have generously contributed to his campaigns and political action committees.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

Price Made Several Attempts To Intervene With Independent FDA Regulators For Constituents.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Records obtained through a public records request show that Price has taken an interest in his constituents’ struggles with the FDA. He hand-signed a letter of concern over the availability of heart valves used in pediatric surgeries in 2005. Four years later, he urged review of a local company’s sperm-analysis device. He dubbed the company a “pillar of the community” and said it should be exempted from a clinical trial that would be “impossible to pass.” Earlier this year, his staffer pressed the FDA on behalf of a constituent trying to get capsaicin palmitate, a hot-pepper ingredient similar to one available over the counter — on a list of approved products for specialized pain creams.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

PRICE IS A RADICAL IDEOLOGUE ON HEALTHCARE POLICY

Politico Headline: Price Has A “Radically Conservative Vision For American Health Care.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Politico: Price’s Selection May Signal Intent To Roll Back Medicare And Medicaid.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Gutting Obamacare might be the least controversial part of Tom Price’s health care agenda.  By tapping the tea party Republican as his top health care official, President-elect Donald Trump sends a strong signal he may look beyond repealing and replacing Obamacare to try to scale back Medicare and Medicaid, popular entitlements that cover roughly 130 million people, many of whom are sick, poor and vulnerable.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Under Price’s Vision, Medicare And Medicaid Would Cease To Be Entitlements.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One of the 18 members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, Price supports major changes to Medicaid and Medicare, health insurance pillars of the Great Society programs of the 1960s. Under his vision, both programs would cease to be entitlements that require them to provide coverage to every person who qualifies.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Price Wanted To Turn Medicare Into A Privatized Voucher System.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “A close ally of Speaker Paul Ryan and his successor as House Budget Committee chairman, Price also supports privatizing Medicare so that seniors would receive fixed dollar amounts to buy coverage — an approach that Democrats lambaste as a voucher system that would gut a 50-year-old social contract and shift a growing share of health care costs onto seniors.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Price Wanted To Eliminate The Ban On Excluding Preexisting Conditions From Health Coverage.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Price’s plan would offer less protection for people with pre-existing conditions — individuals would need to maintain continuous insurance coverage, or risk running into problems getting covered.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Politico: Price Has A Vision To Limit Or Eliminate Health Coverage For 20 Million Americans.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “His vision for health reform hinges on eliminating much of the federal government's role in favor of a free-market framework built on privatization, state flexibility and changes to the tax code. The vast majority of the 20 million people now covered under Obamacare would have far less robust coverage — if they got anything at all.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]