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Jared Polis, one of the 10 richest members of Congress and the Democratic nominee for governor of Colorado, saw his wealth double during his 10-year run in the House of Representatives according to one benchmark estimation, and the congressman had the ability to actively manage the vast majority of his wealth in that time despite boasting about creating a blind trust “to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.”
The congressman’s net worth hovered around $140 to $170 million dollars between 2007 to 2010, according to an analysis of financial disclosures by the Center for Responsive Politics. By 2014, his wealth spiked to about $387 million.
The article goes on to state the following:
Those figures are only an estimate, however, as congressional disclosure forms only require the elected official to list an asset within specified ranges of value. However, because the CRP is a clearinghouse for all kinds of public information on members of Congress, which includes parsing and estimating financial data from disclosures, and because their methodology is applied consistently, their estimates are often used as a baseline standard by politicians, candidates, and journalists.
Disclosures from the earliest years after Polis took office created controversy in 2012 when conservative political author Peter Schweizer published a book that included a section critical of some of Polis’s health care investments, given that the congressman ultimately voted “yes” for the Affordable Care Act despite initially casting a “no” vote in committee when the bill was in its earliest forms.
Polis co-founded the private company BridgeHealth Medical in Colorado, which in its early days was a pioneer in what’s known as “medical tourism,” whereby patients—with the help of a company like BridgeHealth—could find lower surgery costs in places such as India or Costa Rica.
Because much of Polis’s activity with BridgeHealth came in the years leading up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Schweizer called it “[o]ne of the more creative and cynical plays on health care reform.” He wrote:
In other words, Polis was betting that there would be more, not less, medical tourism after the passage of health care reform. Companies in the medical tourism industry generally agreed, and favored Obamacare. They did not believe the bill would actually contain costs, and if anything, they expected overseas medical procedures to become more attractive. Medical Tourism magazine featured an article after the passage of the bill entitled, “Medical Tourism Expands as Alternative to Obama- care.” As the article put it, “Interest in medical tourism has expanded rapidly as Americans react to the new federal law.”
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