September 24, 2017

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Price Has Pattern Of Helping Companies That Donate To His Campaigns, Documents Reveal

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News outlets examine HHS nominee Tom Price’s actions when advocating for specific companies.

Roll Call: HHS Nominee Tom Price, Staff Aided Donors in Agency Battles
President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services has advocated over the years for companies with the federal agencies he may soon oversee. At least three of the companies aided by Rep. Tom Price and his staff contributed to his campaign funds. A CQ Roll Call review of more than 5,600 pages of congressional correspondence with HHS employees provides a picture of a lawmaker who has taken a deep interest in the workings of the Medicare entitlement program’s payments to the health industry. Price, a former surgeon, or his staff also pressured the Food and Drug Administration and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to heed requests and complaints he received from donors and constituents. The documents were released in batches over the past couple of days in response to a Freedom of Information Act filed last year. (Young and Siddons, 1/20)

Kaiser Health News: Trump’s HHS Pick Favored Drugmakers, Device Makers And Doctors
As Cabinet nominee Tom Price faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, a newly released trove of documents sheds further light on how he interacted as a congressman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the massive agency he may soon oversee. Letters provided by CMS after an open records request show that the Health and Human Services pick has repeatedly stepped up in favor of drug firms, device manufacturers and higher physician payments, leading some experts to question whether he would be a reliable advocate for the public’s health. (Taylor and Jewett, 1/23)

And in other administration news —

Stat: Trump’s Education Nominee Is A Theranos Investor
Billionaire Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, owns a stake in the blood-testing company Theranos — a one-time star of the biotech world that has been derailed by criminal and civil investigations. In documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics, DeVos disclosed a share of Theranos that she said was worth more than $1 million. Federal regulations don’t require any more specificity than that, so the exact size of DeVos’ stake is unclear. (Garde, 1/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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