Tom Price plans to transfer ownership of surgical business to wife

U.S. Rep. Tom Price. AJC file

U.S. Rep. Tom Price. AJC file

WASHINGTON — Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price, who is expected to be confirmed as secretary of health and human services in the days ahead, amended his ethics agreement with the feds in order to transfer ownership of his business to his wife Betty, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

In a letter to an ethics lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services dated Feb. 7, Price said he has resigned from his position as a managing partner at Chattahoochee Associates, the Atlanta-area surgical group he’s been connected to since 1993, and transferred his ownership interest to his wife.

“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 of Chattahoochee Associates, unless I first obtain a written waiver,” Price wrote in the letter.

 


 

Price also doubled down on a previous pledge to divest in his shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics, the Australian biotech firm that’s been the subject of Democratic scrutiny in recent months. While Senate Democrats have stopped short of accusing Price of insider trading, they’ve raised questions in that ilk, called for a formal ethics investigation and implied Price misled a Senate committee about how and when he acquired some of his shares. Former ethics officials have also raised questions about Price’s judgement regarding his stock trades.

Republicans have decried what they see as a Democratic “witch hunt” against Price and defended the seven-term congressman. Every GOP senator on a key committee voted to advance Price’s Cabinet nomination to the Senate floor last week, circumventing a Democratic boycott.

In his initial ethics agreement with the government — standard procedure for Cabinet nominees to avoid conflicts of interest should they be confirmed — Price vowed to sell many of his stocks and step down from his position as an American Medical Association delegate.

Meanwhile, Betty Price continues to eye a run for her husband’s 6th District congressional seat. She said recently that she’s still a potential candidate for the already crowded race but that it’s “premature” to discuss before her husband is confirmed.

The letter, which was first reported by the Associated Press, came in the hours before the Senate kicked off debate on Price’s nomination.

The chamber is expected to cast a procedural vote on the nominee at roughly 7 p.m. tonight and then continue with 30 hours of floor debate into the evening on Wednesday and all day Thursday. A final vote is currently expected in the wee hours of Friday morning. He’s expected to be confirmed on a party-line vote.

Read more: 

Tom Price nomination advances as partisan fighting continues

Tom Price: The Georgia lawmaker who will lead Trump’s health policy

The race to replace Price could be an early test of Trump’s popularity

Tom Price plans to sell his medical stocks if confirmed as Trump’s health chief

Tom Price drew money, support from health care industry in rise to top

Photos: Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s HHS nominee

Reader Comments 0

38 comments
Gary A Nelson
Gary A Nelson

I read that he can't sign over his businesses over to his wife. The powers that be won't allow it. So he's backing out the appointment with Trump.

Craig Stewart Files
Craig Stewart Files

Suddenly, people are more in favor of the Affordable Care Act than are against it. For the first time, more people believe Obamacare is a good idea than think it is a bad idea, as a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed.There are a few reasons the balance might be tipping: It may be that growing participation in Obamacare has slowly tipped polls. It may be that Democrats' messaging that millions might lose coverage is sinking in.

Charlie Byrd
Charlie Byrd

Blurring the lines on conflicts of interest. Get onboard, folks, it's the new conservative, family tradition.

Liz Dadin
Liz Dadin

Nope will not vote for her. We have to many families now in politics. It isn't a family business.

Ellen Rafshoon
Ellen Rafshoon

Using your public office to enrich yourself in ways other citizens can't is corruption. Both are sleazy.

Patricia Evans
Patricia Evans

Here are the Democrats running for Price's seat. Democrats: Former state Rep. Sally Harrell: The former lawmaker – she represented a DeKalb district from 1999-2005 – enjoys the support of several local legislators, including state Sen. Elena Parent and state Rep. Scott Holcomb. Jon Ossoff: The 29-year-old small business owner – he runs a firm specializing in anti-corruption investigations – once worked as a congressional aide and has earned the endorsements of Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson as well as some other party leaders. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he’s lined up more than $250,000 in financial commitments from supporters. Former state Sen. Ron Slotin: A former publisher of Atlanta Jewish Life, Slotin represented a north Atlanta Senate district until 1996, when he lost a bid to oust Rep. Cynthia McKinney. He is running as a “progressive” who can fight Trump’s policies.

Thomas McLaughlin
Thomas McLaughlin

Really? If the Price family were Democrats the Repugnants would be screaming for their heads!

Rick Dorminy
Rick Dorminy

I guess people who work to make a living aren't fit to run for office any more. Only those who have made a living off of "foundations" or the government can run without the media calling them crooks.

Charlie Byrd
Charlie Byrd

Nope. Just because one works doesn't make one qualified to fill a position. Try again.

Rick Dorminy
Rick Dorminy

Never said that just because you work you are qualified. But the AJC loves hammering those that are politicians that came from industry or owned their own business. Not sure how you got that from what I said. Try again.

Derrell Earl
Derrell Earl

Funny how the crooked media lead with a story that is not even a story and everyone jumps on the wagon... Obviously if Ms Price wins the election, she will have to make other arrangements.... Calling her a crook, before she has done anything, is not proper...... This is how the media leads those who are low-information voters......

Charlie Byrd
Charlie Byrd

What article were you reading? The one in question made no such claim. Looks like you've played the "evil media" card without any evidence to support it - a typical, "low information," knee-jerk reaction.

Mikey Johnson
Mikey Johnson

Ossoff would probably be a better candidate for that seat.

Paul Clements
Paul Clements

Why does owning a business make you a criminal? Not Everyone can live off the government.

Paul Clements
Paul Clements

Like Hillary Clinton, having Clinton Foundation donors given direct access to the US state department. I get it we only have career politicians who make money peddling influence. Then tell simple business people to shut up and pay taxes.

Patricia Evans
Patricia Evans

She's BACK in the race??? I thought she was "content" with her newly won seat in the General Assembly!? Georgia doesn't need another high "PRICE" in government! Pick a DEM, one DEM and vote for her/him in the special election and get out and VOTE!

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

I think that hat has affected your brain.

Rick Dorminy
Rick Dorminy

Just pick a Dem? I guess it doesn't matter who. That in a nutshell is what's wrong with this country.

Ethel Evans
Ethel Evans

The other half elected him & are supporting him...You should too...

Ethel Evans
Ethel Evans

That comment applies to all ya'll whiners!!

Tracy Martin
Tracy Martin

and his wife an accessory to his crimes.

Ethel Evans
Ethel Evans

Let's see some proof!! Betcha can't find any! Just nasty accusations!!

Craig Stewart Files
Craig Stewart Files

Ethel Evans Just because there may not be proof that could ever satisfy you doesn't mean it didn't happen. His number one crime is profiting $300,000.00 on illegal medical company stock trade.

GA400
GA400

Tom Price is an example of one who does not have the healthcare interest of this nation as his primary objective. He is only interested in improving his personal financial situation. It would be a great disservice to this nation if the Senate approved his nomination. He has lied several times during his confirmation hearings and has evaded answering questions because he knew it would discredit him. He is a person disserving of the trust of this nation. Medical care is one of the major concerns of this nation, and Tom Price is only interested in improving the profits of insurance companies and businesses that provide medicare care or services. 

GA400
GA400

Tom Price is an example of one who does not have the healthcare interest of this nation. He is only interested in self gain, primarily to improve his personal financial situation. It would be a great disservice to this nation if the Senate approved his nomination. He has lied several times during his confirmation hearings, he has evaded answering questions because he knew it would discredit him as a trustful person, deserving of the trust of this nation. Medical care is one of the major concerns of this nation, and Tom Price is a distrustful person, and poor choice to lead us.

mamanelle5
mamanelle5

I believe none of these people saying they will have nothing to do with their past businesses. No Way. The biggest one is our New President There is no way he will not have a part in his business ventures................just more untruths by all of them.