He hopes people don’t Google his name
“He hopes people don’t Google his name,” said John E. Hartwig, a former deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, one of various state and federal agencies that investigated Columbia/HCA when Mr. Scott was its chief executive. (NY Times Article, April 2, 2009)Rick Scott is the big money man behind Conservatives for Patients Rights (CPR), a lobby group created to stop President Obama's Health Care plan from passing. The organization is run primarily by Scott and have hired the Swift boat company, Creative Response Concepts (The company contributed to John Kerry's loss in 2003 with a smear campaign, now commonly referred to as "Swiftboating", to be its public relations firm.
Scott is no stranger to controversy, In the 1990's he built the largest health care company in the world, owning over 340 hospitals and hundreds of other health care facilities. He was turfed as the CEO by his board of Directors when the FBI launched an investigation into fraud of Medicaid and Medicare which lead to 1.7 billion dollars in fines and reimbursements to several States and the federal government.
Richard J. Kirsch, the national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now told the NY Times in April, ...“We cannot have a better first person to attack health care reform than someone who ran a company that ripped off the government of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Yet despite this incredible past of heading a hospital conglomerate that defrauded the US and many State Governments of 100's of millions of dollars, the main stream media are slow to pick up on who the people heading these so called "grassroot" organizations like CPR are. They have made their billions using the current system of private health insurance. Scott does not want to see that change anytime soon. He has a vested interest in insuring no public plan is created.
Scott now owns Solantic, a firm that operates urgent care clinics, marketed as a "lite" emergency room for people that do not have health coverage. Some of these are in Wal-Marts in Florida. These center's cherry pick customers by doing the light work, leaving the burdensome work to an already overloaded system.
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourage regular use of urgent care because they say it undermines the concept of having a primary-care doctor who manages long-term health. "There's nothing like having a physician that really knows you," said Dr. Karl Altenberger, a retired Ocala physician and immediate past president of the Florida Medical Association told the Gainsville Sun in Florida.
All of this indicates to me that Rick Scott sees healthcare as a commodity to be bought and sold as the market will let it. A public funded health care option would see fewer people using/needing his urgent care facilities as people will be able to afford good regular health care and will not have to wait until something can not be tolerated any longer before they seek treatment.
Scott is a very rich American. He has a vested interest in a health care system that must meet Wall Street expectaions for profits each quarter.
More on Scott and his and like organization in future posts.