KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Since May, HHS Secretary Price’s Trips Via Private Jets Have Cost Taxpayers More Than $300,000

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s use of private jets represents a sharp departure from his two immediate predecessors, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, who flew commercially in the continental United States.

Politico: Price Traveled By Private Plane At Least 24 Times
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, according to people with knowledge of his travel plans and a review of HHS documents. The frequency of the trips underscores how private travel has become the norm — rather than the exception — for the Georgia Republican during his tenure atop the federal health agency, which began in February. The cost of the trips identified by POLITICO exceeds $300,000, according to a review of federal contracts and similar trip itineraries. (Pradhan and Diamond, 9/21)

The Washington Post: How Tom Price Decided Chartered, Private Jets Were A Good Use Of Taxpayer Money
After Tom Price was sworn in as health and human services secretary, the Georgia Republican faced an inconvenience known to millions of Americans: His flight was delayed, an aide said, and he was forced to spend hours at an airport. The delay left Price a no-show at an early public appearance his office helped plan. Price knew well the pain of flying to and from Washington as a member of Congress for 12 years. But now he was the head of a trillion-dollar federal agency and one of President Trump’s point men to fulfill the campaign promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Flight delays and no-shows would not do. (Davis, 9/22)

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