KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tom Price To Personally Pay Back $52K In His Share Of Private Jet Travel Cost

In his statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says, "I will take no more private charter flights as Secretary of HHS. No exceptions." The announcement comes as Price's use of a private planes -- costing taxpayers more than $400,000 since May -- has reportedly upset President Donald Trump and prompted a House Oversight Committee inquiry.

The Associated Press: Job In Jeopardy, HHS Chief Promises To Repay Charter Costs
A day after President Donald Trump’s rebuke, health secretary Tom Price promised Thursday to reimburse taxpayers for his cost on charter flights taken while on government business. He issued a public apology as he fought to keep his job. “I regret the concerns this has raised regarding the use of taxpayer dollars,” Price said in a statement. “I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer.” The Health and Human Services secretary said he’ll swear off charter flights — “no exceptions” — and repeated his promise to fully cooperate with ongoing investigations. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Lucey, 9/28)

Politico: Price Says He'll Repay Taxpayers For His Private Jet Travel
The announcement follows a POLITICO investigation finding that Price has taken at least 26 charter flights costing more than $400,000 since May to conduct official business within the country, and after Price has increasingly come under fire from President Donald Trump and former colleagues in Congress. (Pradhan, 9/28)

The New York Times: Tom Price ‘Regrets’ Chartering Flights At Taxpayer Expense 
Politico has revealed that Mr. Price has made at least 26 such flights, including trips to Nashville, where his son lives and where Mr. Price owns a condominium, and to St. Simons Island, a Georgia resort area where Mr. Price owns property and recently spoke at a medical conference. Mr. Price also chartered a flight that included travel to Philadelphia from Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a distance of about 130 miles. (Rogers and Thrush, 9/28)

The Hill: Price To Reimburse Taxpayers For Cost Of Charter Jets
"Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes," Price said in a statement. "The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes." Price noted that all the travel has been "approved by legal and HHS officials" but said he will stop using private charter flights. (Weixel, 9/28)

CNN: Price In Trump's Crosshairs As Expensive Travel Scrutinized
The White House said Thursday it was considering adopting new oversight of administration officials' use of private planes as President Donald Trump's health boss finds his job in jeopardy. Trump has fumed about Price's use of private jets to travel around the country on routes easily accessible by commercial means. He's been encouraged by some advisers to fire Price in a show of authority, but as of Thursday Trump has indicated in private he's not ready to dismiss the former congressman. (Liptak, 9/28)

Bloomberg: Price Plans To Write Check For Flights Taken At Taxpayer Expense
Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote Trump Thursday suggesting chartered travel should be halted government-wide and asked the president to detail plans “to ensure that cabinet secretaries use the most fiscally responsible travel.” (Edney, 9/28)

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