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HHS nominee Price would drop financial stakes in 43 companies, resign medical posts

Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Price will sell off stock holdings to avoid any conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is at right.
Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Price will sell off stock holdings to avoid any conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is at right. AP

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for health and human services secretary, has agreed that, if confirmed, he will drop his financial stake in more than 40 companies within 90 days to avoid possible conflicts of interest.

“I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that to my knowledge has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests,” Price wrote in a letter to the HHS ethics office.

Price also agreed that if confirmed as HHS secretary, he will resign from his managing partner position at Chattahoochee Associates and leave his post as a delegate of the American Medical Association.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, have asked the Congressional Ethics Office to investigate Price’s stock trades.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Price, the House Budget Committee chairman, who pushed for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, had traded more than $300,000 worth of stocks in 40 health-related companies while he sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of bills affecting the health industry.

Price said he’d continue to have a financial interest in Chattahoochee “but I will not provide services material to the production of income. Instead, I will receive only passive investment income from it,” he wrote.

Price added that for a year after leaving the AMA position he won’t take part in matters “in which I know the AMA is a party or represents a party, unless I am first authorized to participate” under federal law.

In a statement, Phil Blando, Trump transition team spokesman, said Price was “compliant with congressional disclosure rules” and “will comply fully with the recommendations put forward by the ethics office.”

“Given this agreement, we expect the Senate to move expeditiously with consideration of Dr. Price’s nomination,” Blando added.

Price is scheduled to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee next Wednesday. But his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Finance has not been scheduled.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article gave the wrong day for Price’s testimony next week before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. It will be Wednesday.

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