? Given the prominence of the fight over the Affordable Care Act, there is no more pivotal figure in Donald Trump’s cabinet than Georgia Congressman Tom Price, the nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary. Trump has already predicated his bizarre vow of “insurance for everybody” on Price’s confirmation, saying he will not release his health care plan until that time. The Republican Congress, with no consensus of their own, awaits Trump’s directive, so any delay in Price’s confirmation puts what has become the top legislative priority in the first hundred days on hold.
With that in mind, maybe the Trump “extreme vetting” team should have figured out at some point that Price had a chronic insider trading problem.
For the second time in a few weeks, news has leaked about Price’s unusually timed purchases of medical-related stocks. CNN yesterdayalleged that last spring, Price bought between $1,000 and $15,000 of shares in Zimmer Biomet, a medical-device company. Days later, he introduced legislation to delay a Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation changing reimbursements for knee and hip implant. Knee and hip implants provide the majority of Zimmer Biomet’s revenue, and the regulation will significantly reduce their profits. (Price’s office said the stock was purchased without his knowledge, but only after refusing to answer the same question before CNN published the story.)