An organization called Conservatives for Patient Rights has launched a typically misleading ad campaign that paints the Obama administration's health reform effort as a threat to patients' choice (as if the majority of patients had a lot of desirable choices to make in the current insurance-dominated health care landscape.) Its founder and leading spokesman is Rick Scott, is the founder of Columbia Hospital, which later acquired HCA, forming Columbia/HCA, a $23 billion behemoth in the health care sector. Scott was ousted from this post in 1997 after an FBI investigation of Columbia/HCA that led to 14 felony convictions and $1.7 billion in criminal and civil fines for Medicare fraud.
Scott is a particularly inauspicious spokesman for loss of choice and the consequences of handing health care to the government, as Think Progress points out:
Scott himself is a poor spokesperson for the consequences of health care rationing. As Lee Fang explains, Scott started the Hospital Corporation of America/Columbia Hospital Corporation, with the goal of doing for hospitals “what McDonald’s has done in the food business.” Through an aggressive strategy of rapid acquisitions and consolidation, Scott turned his business into one of the largest health care companies in the world. But by the time Scott resigned and the company reached a $1.7 billion fraud settlement with the federal government for systematically over-billing Medicare and stealing from taxpayers, HCA/Columbia had become infamous for doing what Scott now so loudly decries: rationing care.
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