HIGH-FLYING

Watchdog: Former Health Secretary Tom Price Wasted $341,000 on Travel

Former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price wasted at least $341,000 of government funds on unnecessary travel expenses, according to a report from the HHS inspector general. The report said the agency “improperly used federal funds related to Sec. Price’s government travel,” including booking charter flights without looking for more affordable options. During Price’s seven months as head of HHS, the government spent more than $1.2 million on his travel, including $700,000 on military flights and $480,000 on domestic travel on a private plane. Price apologized and paid the government $60,000, but the report said he should pay the full $341,000. HHS agreed with most of the agency watchdog’s findings in an official response, but said it needed more details on the alleged waste of $341,000. The HHS spokesperson blamed the “paperwork and regulatory issues” on staff, and said they were “good faith mistakes” in a statement. Price resigned last year following revelations about his travel and his failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.