Video Excerpt: Matthew McCoy - Health Care-Related Conflicts of Interest in Congress
It was the Congressional confirmation hearing on Tom Price's nomination for HHS Secretary that made Matthew McCoy and colleagues wonder about health care-related conflicts of interest throughout the rest of Congress.
Those January, 2017, proceedings revealed that Price, Chair of the House Budget Committee and a member of other committees directly involved in setting health care policy, had continued to actively trade in medical device and pharmaceutical stocks while in office.
McCoy, PhD, an Assistant Professor in Penn's Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and an LDI Senior Fellow, said he and his colleagues "wanted to know if this was indicative of a larger trend where the men and women who are writing our health laws stand to gain quite a bit financially from how those laws turn out."
In his presentation to the 2018 Penn Health Policy Retreat, McCoy detailed his research team's findings to date showing that from 2004 to 2014, an average of 32% of the members of the Senate had health sector holdings. During that same period, an average of 19% of House members had such holdings.
At the committee level in the house during the same time, 18% of the members of the House Ways & Means Committee and 14% of the members of the Energy & Commerce Committee -- both of which have extensive jurisdiction over health care-related matters -- had active health care holdings.