It was just one day into the 2013 government shutdown spurred by Sen. Ted Cruz's push to block implementation of Obamacare that Jeb Bush sold more than $903,216 of Tenet Healthcare Corp. shares. The company stood to benefit from the law Cruz and his allies were trying to unwind, something Bush knew well, as a member of Tenet's board of directors.
According to tax returns released Tuesday, Bush made an enormous profit on the transaction—$462,013 on that deal alone. But it wasn't the first time Bush had dumped Tenet shares. He had shed another $200,208 worth of Tenet stock two weeks earlier, on September 19, making $94,270 on that transaction.
Combined, Bush made more than $556,000 from his Tenet investments just as Republicans in Congress were ramping up the fight against the health care law that Tenet had publicly stated would benefit its business. "There is no question that our geographic presence and business model will position Tenet to capture substantial net benefits from this new law," the company said during a 2011 investor call.
Bush joined Tenet's board in 2007, acquiring his equity position in turn. The company described his value to the board in a 2011 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying Bush's presence, along with that of another politician, was important because his "experience in government is particularly relevant in light of the highly regulated nature of the health care sector, especially given the recent and ongoing activity in health care reform and related regulatory and legislative initiatives at both the federal and state level."