Guess Tom Scully's market worth.
Posted Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003, at 1:06 PM PT
To read the complete article, click
on-- http://slate.msn.com/id/2091986/ [This link was found on the Slate website through a Google search on 3/22/04]
Scully is administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In the Dec. 3 New York Times, Robert Pear reported that Scully, who was the Bush administration's point man on the recently passed Medicare prescription-drug bill,
was at the same time discussing job offers from various interested parties
. Scully told the Times
multitasking complied with governmentwide ethics regulations for departing officials
. Sad to say, he's probably right. Here's what it says in "Understanding the Revolving Door
," a pamphlet put out by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics:
Under a criminal law on conflict of interest (18 U.S.C. § 208), generally you cannot work in your Government job on a matter that would affect the financial interest of someone with whom
you are discussing possible employment. The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees (5 C.F.R. part 2635) have a similar rule that applies even before employment discussions begin, and may apply even when you have just sent a
Sounds tough, doesn't it? But the law on conflict of interest is extremely porous (at least in practice), and the regulatory prohibition described above may be
ignored simply by acquiring a government-issued waiver, as Scully did.
Acting on what was either an admirable spirit of openness or a canny desire to intensify the bidding war, Scully named
for the Times the three law firms and two private investment firms that have extended job offers. All of them represent
companies affected by the Medicare bill ...
But what kind of money are we talking about? The Times quotes lawyers and lobbyists saying Scully could easily
quintuple his current salary of $134,000. ...
The Progress Report
December 4, 2003
by David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum
FDA COMMISH ACCEPTING DRUG INDUSTRY AWARD: Yesterday, it was revealed that the architect of the White House's Medicare bill, Tom Scully, was pursuing a job with the HMO and drug industries at the very same time he was pushing for passage
of the legislation that gives billions to those industries. And now
today, the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reports that FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan will be accepting an "award" from the
American Council on Science and Health - a front group for "food, drug and other companies" that gets its funding
from "Abbott Lab oratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Dow Corning, Kraft, Merck, Monsanto, NutraSweet Co., and Pfizer."
The award is to be presented to McClellan by right-wing journalist John Stossel. CSPI's Michael F. Jacobson said the drug industry front
group giving McClellan the award "seems to be raising money from corporations by peddling access to a government regulator."
He said, "If Dr. McClellan would feel queasy about accepting an award from a drug company directl y, he shouldn't accept one
indirectly through ACSH—a deceptively packaged front group." ...
REIMPORTATION MALARKEY: It
is possible that one of the reasons McClellan is getting the award is because of his tireless efforts to eliminate
House- and Senate-approved provisions permitting the importation of FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada – provisions
the drug companies vigorously opposed. ... Of course,
Knight-Ridder reports that, when pressed, "FDA officials can't name a single American who has been injured or killed by drugs bought from
licensed Canadian pharmacies." Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) recently questioned FDA officials about the number of Americans who have died after taking drugs shipped from Canada.
"It's a nic e round number - it's zero," said Gutknecht ...