Isn’t that like “Pedophiles for Childrens’ Welfare?” From The Nation, your healthcare has a new special friend:
….Rick Scott is the man who best embodies the spirit of the current conservative opposition. The name may not exactly be a household word, or it may ring a faint bell, but Politico recently reported that the millionaire Republican would be heading up Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR), a new group that plans to spend around $20 million to kill President Obama’s efforts at healthcare reform.
Having Scott lead the charge against healthcare reform is like tapping Bernie Madoff to campaign against tighter securities regulation. You see, the for-profit hospital chain Scott helped found–the one he ran and built his entire reputation on–was discovered to be in the habit of defrauding the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
This is the man who will be delivering what Politico called the “pro-free-market message.”
….”They were looking for ways to maximize reimbursement…which ultimately would improve the bottom line.”
One way they did this was to fudge the costs on their Medicare expense reports. They were “basically keeping two sets of books,” says Schilling. The company would maintain an internal expense report, what it called a “reserve” report, which accurately tallied its expenses. “And then they would have a second report, which…they would file with the government, which was more aggressive.” That report would “include inflated costs and expenses they knew weren’t allowable or reimbursable. The one they filed with government might claim $5 million and the reserve would claim $4.5.” Columbia/HCA would pocket the difference.
It wasn’t just happening in Florida, and it wasn’t just fraudulent Medicare expense reports. Around the country, dozens of whistle-blowers like Schilling stepped forward to file lawsuits under the False Claims Act, charging the company with sundry forms of chicanery: kickbacks to doctors in exchange for referrals, illegal deals with homecare agencies and filing false data about the use of hospital space.
By 1997 the FBI was investigating Columbia/HCA. Days after agents raided company facilities armed with search warrants, Scott was forced to resign. In 2000 the company pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to pay the government $840 million. Other civil settlements would follow, ultimately totaling a staggering $1.7 billion, making it the largest fraud case in American history.
Please, have Scott be the public face of conservative healthcare policy. Please. The man is the healthcare equivalent of Michael “Brownie” Brown.