Congressman Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, is doing what his prospective boss won’t: divesting financial interests in firms that could present a conflict of interest if he takes a role in the administration.
A letter dated Wednesday and addressed to an HHS ethics official lists 43 companies from which Price pledged to divest his interest within 90 days of his confirmation. Some, including Aetna, Amgen, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer, are major companies in the health care industry; others, including Amazon, Facebook, Delta Airlines, and Northrop Grumman, are not.
The Georgia Republican’s financial holdings had created cause for concern after his nomination was announced on Nov. 29, with some Democratic lawmakers and ethics experts calling on him to divest.
Price also pledged to resign as an American Medical Association delegate upon the Senate’s confirmation, saying he would not to participate in AMA-related matters — but only for one year following his resignation.
The letter indicated that Price will retain a financial interest in Chattahoochee Associates LP after stepping aside as managing partner. “I will not provide services material to the production of income,” Price wrote. “Instead, I will receive only passive investment income from it.”
In addition, he will retain “limited partnership interests in the following entities that own property rented to healthcare-related tenants”: Diagnostic Ventures of Roswell LLC, which manages medical buildings and health care-related properties, and and RMC3 LLC.
Price’s wife, Betty, is a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, and he also pledged not to participate “personally and substantially” in matters relating to the state without obtaining prior authorization on a case-by-case basis.
Price’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is set for Wednesday. Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the committee, has said he expects Price to be confirmed “at least by mid-February.”