Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price wants the public to believe he's making adequate amends for chartering $400,000 worth of private charter flights since May. On Thursday, the secretary announced he would write a personal check to cover the cost of his own seats on those many flights, a sum just short of $52,000.
Of course, if Price had not opted to fly private rather than commercial on these occasions, the cost of his travel, even accounting for staff and other resources, would be much less than $400,000. His $50,000 hardly compensates for those errors.
Given what we know about Price's finances, that figure is almost insultingly low.
Ahead of his confirmation hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported that between 2012 and 2016, then-Rep. Price "traded more than $300,000 in shares of about 40 health-related companies while sponsoring and advocating legislation that potentially could affect those companies' stocks," though he maintains those sales were facilitated by brokers.
Consider also that the secretary sold his shares in an Australian biotech company for $320,000 in February, earning $225,000 on a $94,000 investment. Price purchased those shares initially at the invitation of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who sits on the company's board. The shares were offered to "sophisticated investors" for a discounted rate.
Perhaps Price should consider reinvesting that money in an effort to salvage his reputation, and add it onto that $50,000 check.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.