CUTTING COSTS?

Report: Tom Price Took Private Jets Five Times in One Week

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, an outspoken critic of federal spending, reportedly chartered private jets for five separate trips last week for official business even though much cheaper commercial flights were available, Politico reports. The secretary’s apparent penchant for chartered flights marks a sharp change from his predecessors and seems to call into question his plans to cut federal spending. It’s not clear who paid for the trips, taken between Sept. 13 and Sept 15, but an HHS spokesperson told Politico it’s normal for charter aircraft to be used by officials “when commercial aircraft cannot reasonably accommodate travel requirements.” The three organizations that received visits from Price—the health IT firm Athenahealth in Massachusetts, Goodwin Community Health Center in New Hampshire, and the Mirmont Treatment Center in Pennsylvania—all reportedly said they did not pay for Price’s travel expenses.