The former CEO of Columbia/Hospital Corporation of America who was forced to resign in 1997 amid fraud charges, as well as the group that launched the infamous “Swift Boat” attack on the 2004 presidential bid of Sen. John Kerry, are now trying to sink health care reform.
But Health Care for America NOW! (HCAN), which supports health care reform, last week launched a television ad (below) detailing the “dubious past in the health care industry” of anti-health care reform front man Rick Scott.
According HCAN, after Scott was forced to resign from the health care giant in the wake of fraud charges, Columbia/HCA agreed to pay $1.7 billion in fines and penalties—the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.
Says HCAN in a statement:
The hospital corporation pleaded guilty to a litany of criminal and civil charges including lying to the government about how sick patients were so they could collect larger fees.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported this morning that Scott is using $5 million of his own money, plus another $15 million from donors he refuses to name, to finance the “swift boating” of President Obama’s health care reform initiatives. The Post reports that PRC Public Relations, the group that slimed Kerry’s Vietnam War record, is coordinating the campaign.
Earlier this year, Scott, who is a major donor to the Republican Party, according the Washington newspaper Politico, founded the group Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. That group is airing the ads on national cable outlets like CNN and Fox attacking Obama’s health care proposals with false claims and recycled scare tactics.
Richard Kirsch, HCAN’s national campaign manager, says that although major media outlets have covered Scott’s anti-reform campaign, they have failed to explore his past.
Rick Scott made millions with a company that defrauded the government and the American people for profit. If he’s going to grant interviews and plaster himself all over the airwaves as the face of anti-reform, we believe everyone has the right to know exactly where he’s coming from.