The Democrats have pounced on a story from CNN about Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to derail his nomination to run the Department of Health and Human Services.
The story alleges that Price committed some sort of insider trading by using his power as the House Budget Committee chairman to increase the price of health care stocks and then sell them.
However, the story is fake news, as Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro explains here. It's also a blatant hypocrisy by the Democrats, as various Democrats have been accused of using their positions of power to enrich themselves through the same type of insider trading that they have accused Price of doing.
Here are five Democrats that faced allegations of insider training.
1. John Kerry. The outgoing secretary of state and former Massachusetts senator used Obamacare to enrich himself through health care stocks, according to Business Insider:
- As passage Obamacare seemed more likely, Kerry bought nearly $750,000 in Teva Pharmaceuticals stock, one of several big drug companies that benefitted from the health care bill. When the bill was signed in 2010, the Kerrys sold some of their Teva shares, making tens of thousands of dollars in capital gains. They kept more than $1 million worth of Teva stock.
- In 2009, the Kerrys also picked up shares in ResMed, a medical device manufacturer that was a big winner in the healthcare reform battle. In early versions of the bill, medical device companies would have been subject to higher taxes. Kerry opposed the taxes, and the fees were much lower in the final version. ResMed's stock rose 71% when the bill was passed.
- The Kerrys also invested in hospital supplier Thermo Fisher Scientific, a major beneficiary of the healthcare bill. The stock jumped 40% after Obamacare passed.
- At the same time, the Kerrys dumped all of their investments in the health insurance industry, including shares in United Health and Wellpoint. Needless to say, healthcare providers were the biggest losers in Obamacare.
Business Insider also notes that Kerry cashed in on the Medicare Part D program, as "the Kerrys made 111 trades in pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare providers that would administer the plan" while the bill was being drafted by Congress. After the law's passage, a number of those stocks were sold and benefited the Kerrys to the tune of "$100,000 and $1 million." The Kerrys have claimed that their "investments are managed by independent trustees."
2. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). Peter Schweizer, author of Throw Them All Out, told Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard in 2011 that Polis, who sat on the House Ways and Means Committee, was a major proponent of Obamacare while investing $7-35 million into Bridge International, a company that arranges surgeries outside of the country.
"He knew exactly what he was doing because the medical tourism industry in the summer of 2009 was saying, 'If ObamaCare passes, this is going to be a boon to our industry because surgeries are going to become more scarce, and people are going to want to go overseas to avoid a lot of red tape,'" Schweizer said. "So, here you had an individual who was supporting a law, and he knew that the economic consequences would not be good for the healthcare system, but he sought to profit off of it by buying a huge chunk in a medical tourism company."
Schweizer also pointed out that Obamacare guaranteed a 12 year patent protection for biotechnology company drugs, which was helpful to the industry since most companies only have fiveyear patent protections for their drugs. Polis purchased around $1-5 million in sector funds for biotechnology funds at the time, Obamacare boosted those funds by 25 percent.
3. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Schweizer's book Throw Them All Out notes that the Pelosis bought various shares of Visa just after the House was debating legislation that "would have allowed retailers to negotiate lower fees with the major credit-card companies," a major source of revenue for those companies. The Pelosis were able to buy the shares a day before the stock became publicly available, and after they purchased that share Pelosi killed the bill. Eventually, the behemoth Dodd-Frank law covered the matter.
"By that time, the value of Pelosi’s IPO shares had more than doubled, while the market as a whole had shown a double-digit decline," writes Newsweek's review of Schweizer's book.
4. Former Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA). When then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke held a confidential briefing about the pending economic collapse of 2008, the Morans quickly dumped 90 shares to avoid the substantial losses that many Americans would face. Moran has denied that he ever attended this briefing, although his sketchy record makes it hard to take his denial seriously.
5. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Feinstein and her husband purchased $1 million in Amyris-Biotechnologies equity just before the Department of Energy approved a $24 million grant to the company under President Barack Obama's stimulus bill. Amyris was owned by prominent Democrat donor John Doerr.
"With federal money in hand, Amyris went public with an IPO the following year, raising $85 million," Schweizer writes in Throw Them All Out. "John Doerr's firm, Kleiner Perkins, did very well, more than tripling its investment. A $16 million investment was now worth $69 million. It's not clear how [shareholder] Steve Westly or Senator Feinstein did, but it's safe to assume they did well too. Meanwhile, Amyris continues to lose money, and the grant created forty jobs."
Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter @bandlersbanter.