Conflict of Interest of Former Medicare Chief Thomas Scully
Conflict of Interest of Former
Medicare Chief Thomas Scully
updated January 13, 2004
On May 12, 2003 Thomas Scully, chief administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) obtained an ethics waiver from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson allowing him to ignore ethics laws barring him from negotiating employment with anyone financially affected by his official duties or authority. Scully subsequently acted as the White House's head negotiator on the Medicare prescription drug bill, a bill that significantly affected the financial interests of five firms he was in employment talks with. On December 18, 2003 Scully announced that he was joining two of the firms affected by the bill.
On December 22, 2003, Public Citizen issued a complaint to the HHS Inspector General calling for an investigation into both Thompson's and the HHS ethics officer's role in granting the waiver.
UPDATE: On January 6, 2004 the White House issued new guidelines mandating that all ethics waivers like the one granted to Scully be approved by the White House counsel's office. On January 13 Public Citizen, while commending the new guidelines, again called for an investigation into the potential violation of executive branch ethics violations. (View Press Release)