Healthcare

Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial

A 2012 meeting with former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is becoming a focus of the ongoing federal corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

An indictment charges that Menendez met with the Obama administration health official about an $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute on behalf of Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, according to The Associated Press. The AP added that the indictment charges that Melgen bribed Menendez with trips on private jets and luxury hotel stays.

Menendez, however, claims he wanted to meet with Sebelius about inconsistencies in Medicare billing practices.

Jonathan Blum, a former HHS official, testified during the trial on Monday that Menendez didn't mention Melgen by name during the meeting, according to the AP. Blum added, however, that he understood the dispute to be the underlying reason for the meeting.

Sebelius could testify this week, the AP reported.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was also at the meeting, could also testify.

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