Report: OIG to Investigate Private Jet Travel by Tom Price

Philip Betbeze, September 22, 2017

Pilloried for taking private jets at taxpayer expense, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price now faces a federal investigation, according to a media report.

In a break with precedent, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price while travelling in his official capacity, has reportedly taken as many as 24 flights via private jet.

HHS secretaries Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, Price's predecessors, regularly flew commercially within the continental U.S.

Price now faces an investigation by the HHS inspector general, the Washington Post reported Friday.

  • President Trump confirmed Sunday that his administration is "looking into" Price's use of private flights.
     
  • One flight alone from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, a distance of 135 miles, reportedly cost $25,000.
     
  • The estimated cost of the 24 flights identified "exceeds $300,000" according to Politico.
     
  • Price has been pilloried across Twitter for his travel preferences.

  • In an effort to quell the flare-up, Price's office told the New York Times that the private jet travel was justified by his demanding schedule.
     
  • "This is Secretary Price, getting outside of D.C., making sure he is connected with the real American people," an HHS spokeswoman told the Washington Post.
Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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