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House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, delivers the keynote address at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution entitled "A Reform Agenda for the Federal Budget Process," Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump's HHS pick Tom Price reportedly wrote bills to help companies he had stock in

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President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of health and human services, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, is under fire after news broke that he bought stock in a medical company days before writing a bill that would help it.

CNN reported Price bought between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of shares in Zimmer Biomet, which makes medical devices like knee and hip implants, in March. Days later, he introduced the HIP Act, which would have delayed until 2018 a regulation that experts said would have hurt Zimmer Biomet's business once it took effect.

It clearly has the appearance of using your influence as a congressman to your financial benefit.
Larry Noble, Campaign Legal Center

After Price introduced the bill, the company's political action committee donated to his re-election campaign.  A Washington watchdog group told CNN the deal looks shady. 

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House Budget Committee member Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., right, accompanied by committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and other committee members, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, to unveil a "comprehensive reform effort aimed to repair the broken budget process". (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Wall Street Journal reported in December that Price had traded more than $300,000 in stock in medical companies while backing dozens of bills that could have affected those stocks, whether positively or negatively. 

Any effort to connect the introduction of Dr. Price's legislation, co-sponsored with Democrats, to a campaign contribution is demonstrably false.
Phil Blando, Price spokesman

Price is set to appear before the Senate Health Committee and Finance Committee this week. Trump said he would submit a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as soon as Price is confirmed. 

Price spokesman Phil Blando denied the CNN report.

A Price aide said the congressman didn't know about the stock purchase until April 4, weeks after his financial advisor made the transaction. 


Price announced last week he would divest from 43 companies, including Zimmer Biomet, within 90 days of Senate confirmation. 

Congress cracked down on insider training among its members with the STOCK Act in 2012.

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