As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI) was best known for his repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) and take away health insurance coverage from tens of millions of Americans. Now a private citizen, Ryan is about to profit from his own legislative failures.
According to his hometown paper, Ryan has joined the board of directors at SHINE Medical Technologies. The Janesville-based company makes molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope used to illuminate bones and body tissue in medical tests — the sorts of tests typically paid for by health insurance plans.
In a statement announcing the news, the company’s CEO Greg Piefer said the former 10-term congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee “will provide critical guidance to SHINE as we expand into domestic and international markets that require deep mastery of global policy, economics and leadership.”
Ryan said he was “excited to be joining SHINE’s board at this important time in the company’s development.”
Ryan’s share in the company’s profits will likely be higher thanks in part to the failure of his own signature health care legislation proposals that did not become law. In 2017, he rammed the American Health Care Act (better known as Trumpcare) through the House of Representatives. Had the bill not died in the Senate, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted it would have left 23 million more Americans uninsured.
Ryan also spent much of his House tenure pushing legislation to turn federal health programs like Medicaid into block grants, which would have capped spending. Had either of these efforts become law, it would likely have meant much less demand for lifesaving medical tests like the ones that utilize SHINE’s products.
Earlier this year, Ryan also joined the board of the parent company for Fox News.