‘He Was Not Happy’: Menendez Pushed For Rule Change In Doc’s Dispute, Obama officials testify
The following is an excerpt from Brooke Singman, Fox News | October 3, 2017 | Foxnews.com |
Top health officials from the Obama administration testified Tuesday that Sen. Robert Menendez pressured them to change a long-standing Medicare policy in a way that would benefit the Florida ophthalmologist at the center of the New Jersey Democrat’s corruption trial.
Menendez is accused of accepting campaign donations, gifts and vacations from his friend Dr. Salomon Melgen. In return, Menendez allegedly used his Senate powers to lobby on behalf of Melgen’s business interests.
Then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the highest-level Obama official to testify in the case, took the stand Tuesday to describe a meeting she had with Menendez in the office of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Prosecutors’ previously filed brief said that meeting was held in August 2012 and alleged Menendez “personally pressured” Sebelius to intervene over a Medicare payment policy, though Sebelius balked.
Giving her side of the story, Sebelius testified Tuesday that the “gist” of the conversation involved Menendez’s “unhappiness” over the policy, which he felt was “unclear” and “unfair” to providers. The policy happened to be at the center of a billing dispute involving Melgen.
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