Tom Price

GOP Lawmaker Suggests Quarantine for HIV Patients

Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R), the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked in a hearing this week “what are we legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state, Stat reports.

Said Price: “I don’t want to say the quarantine word — but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. … Are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

Trump’s Breaking Point with Tom Price

Politico: “Tom Price’s downfall was his penchant for pricey jets. But his demise was months in the making, as the president continued to lose trust in the Health and Human Services secretary who rarely attended Oval Office strategy meetings, had little sway or influence on Capitol Hill, and was associated in the president’s mind with one of the administration’s biggest defeats — the failure to repeal Obamacare.”

“Of particular notoriety: A picture of Price in March drinking at Bullfeathers, a famed Capitol Hill bar, as his colleagues tried to wrangle votes for the president’s signature initiative.”

Tom Price Resigns

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price “resigned under pressure on Friday after racking up at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights and undermining President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp of a corrupt and entitled capital,” the New York Times reports.

“Already in trouble with Mr. Trump for months of unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care program, Mr. Price failed to defuse the president’s anger over his high-priced travel by agreeing to pay a portion of the cost and expressing ‘regret’ for his actions.”

Sam Baker: “Price might not have gotten ACA repeal over the finish line, but even in his short tenure, he was able to undermine the law significantly. Under his leadership, HHS waged a PR campaign against the ACA; slashed funding to help promote enrollment; and directed regional department officials not to assist state-based enrollment efforts.”

Price’s Job Remains In Jeopardy

“Offering to pay back a fraction of the cost of his private jet travel has not helped Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price climb out of his political hole. If anything, it seems to be getting deeper,” Axios reports.

“Price only plans to pay back only ‘his portion’ of the charter flights he has taken since becoming secretary, HHS confirmed yesterday. That would be about $52,000, or 13% of the $400,000 total… This partial reimbursement will not make Price’s troubles go away. Sure, he only took up one seat on each flight, but everyone else was there because he decided to fly private instead of commercial.”

Meanwhile, Politico reports last night that Price also used military planes for international travel that added up to more than $500,000.

And BuzzFeed reports Price ” wanted to reopen his department’s executive dining room.”

Price Used Private Jets to Meet Family and Friends

HHS Secretary Tom Price “took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended,” Politico reports.

“The St. Simons Island trip was one of two taxpayer-funded flights on private jets in which Price traveled to places where he owns property, and paired official visits with meetings with longtime colleagues and family members.”

New Details Cast Doubt on Why Price Needed Private Jet

An HHS spokesperson told Politico that Secretary Tom Price “has been taking private jets because an unreliable commercial flight once forced him to cancel an important meeting.”

“But the flight in question — to a two-day industry conference at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in southern California — didn’t get off the ground on a day when storms virtually shut down air traffic in the Washington region, preventing even private jets from getting out.”

“The details cast into doubt HHS’ justification for Price’s use of private jets as he faces criticism from congressional Democrats and a review of whether he complied with Federal Travel Regulations from his department’s inspector general.”

White House Won’t Defend Price’s Use of Private Jets

“The White House says it didn’t sign off on what are reportedly at least two dozen private jet trips made by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price,” Bloomberg reports.

“Price took at least 24 flights on private airplanes since he became a cabinet secretary in February. The trips have cost taxpayers more than $300,000 and were a sharp departure from Price’s predecessors, who typically used commercial flights in the continental U.S..”

Price Travels on Private Jets for Official Business

“In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel,” Politico reports.

“The travel by corporate-style jet comes at a time when other members of the Trump administration are under fire for travel expenditures… Price, a frequent critic of federal spending who has been developing a plan for departmentwide cost savings, declined to comment.”