President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Thomas Price, said yesterday that he will sell his individual stock holdings if he is confirmed as a member of the cabinet to avoid any conflicts of interest. Price is a Republican congressman from Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and an active investor in stocks ranging from healthcare to communication.
Healthcare regulations are poised to change as Republicans look to repeal Obamacare and Price, if he is confirmed, will have the power to rewrite regulations that will affect the companies that he currently invests in, including Zimmer Biomet and Pfizer.
|Bristol Meyers Squibb||$1,001-$15,000||None (or less than $201)|
|CVS Health||$1,001-$15,000||None (or less than $201)|
|Eli Lilly & Co||$1,001-$15,000||None (or less than $201)|
|Pfizer||$1,001-$15,000||None (or less than $201)|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||None (or less than $1,001) in capital gains dividends||$201-$1,000|
|Zimmer Biomet||$1,001 – $15,000||$201-$1,000|
Price said that he will step down from his position as managing partner of his firm, Chattahoochee Associates, but he will continue to hold a financial stake in the partnership. He will also continue to hold interests in property rented to healthcare-related tenants. He said will remove himself from any government decisions that will affect those partnerships.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Price made trades worth more than $300,000 in stocks of biomedical, pharmaceutical and health insurers while he was serving on the health subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent a letter last week to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking them to investigate whether Price made the trades based on information he gathered from his time on the subcommittee. Slaughter wrote the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.
“Congressman Price was privy to information not available to the public,” Slaughter said. “The fact that these trades were made and in many cases timed to achieve significant earnings or avoid losses would lead a reasonable person to question whether the transactions were triggered by insider knowledge.”
A Trump transition team spokesperson told the Journal that the accusations against Price are “laughable”.