FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
“These reports are deeply troubling, and raise serious questions as to what extent Steve Daines’ actions have affected his personal financial interests,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “Has Daines’ response to the pandemic been driven by his stock portfolio? He owes us answers, and he needs to start by disclosing his 2020 investment activity — now.”
The Montana Post: Steve Daines Has Made Massive Investments in Health Care Funds Near Major Votes He’s Cast in the Senate
By: Don Pogreba
A look at his investments while in the Senate shows that Daines invested large sums of money in healthcare funds precisely at the time he was voting on major legislation affecting them, including investment in insurance and Big Pharma made just as he was voting to end the Affordable Care Act.
In 2017 and 2018, Daines made 118 mutual fund transactions totaling as much as $6.8 million while casting votes on the Senate floor, and at least a few are quite troubling.
One striking example of these purchases came in 2017. On July 24 and 25th of that year, Daines purchased up to $100,000 in shares of the Vanguard Health Care Fund Admiral Shares Fund, which is heavily invested in health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Its top holdings have included insurers Anthem Inc and UnitedHealth, and pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Eli Lilly and more.
And on July 25, 2017, the very day he invested in the fund, Daines voted, in a critical 50-50 procedural vote that paved the way for the Republican effort to end the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Republican American Health Care Act
Senator Daines, who has made a career of writing himself tax breaks for his real estate business, is also voting against our physical and mental health to improve the health of his investment portfolio.
Those rural hospitals the Daines is now belatedly giving credit for their frontline response to COVID-19? In July of 2017, he was voting to end the Medicaid Expansion vital to keeping them open and keeping Montanans healthy. And, at the very same time, he was investing in insurers and Big Pharma to make a buck while he stripped us of adequate care.
Unfortunately, the 2012 STOCK Act, designed to prevent insider trading by members of Congress, does not mandate timely reporting of these transactions. We will, for instance, not know about the mutual fund transactions Senator Daines made in 2020 until after his election in 2021, but Senator Daines owes it to us to make these 2020 investments transparent now. While he votes on measures to deal with the COVID-crisis, we deserve to know if Daines is motivated by pecuniary interests that overpower the interests of the people he should represent. And we deserve an explanation for these earlier investments, too.
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