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Astroturf Chronicles - Rick Scott, Head Of The "Conservatives for Patients Rights" Grassroots Group

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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 09:42 PM
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Astroturf Chronicles - Rick Scott, Head Of The "Conservatives for Patients Rights" Grassroots Group
Edited on Tue Aug-04-09 09:44 PM by TomCADem
Here is yet another profile in the astroturf effort to kill healthcare reform. Today's episode is on Conservatives for Patients Rights. Rick Scott is the founder of this group, which bills itself as follows:


Conservatives for Patients' Rights is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and informing the public about the principles of patients rights and, in doing so, advancing the debate over health care reform. Those principles include choice, competition, accountability and responsibility. We believe the path to effective health care reform must be based on the patient-doctor relationship and not from a top-down, big government perspective. Anything that interferes with an individuals freedom to consult their doctor of choice to make health care decisions defeats the purpose of meaningful health care reform.


Rick Scott's bio on the website portrays him as a "A Lifelong Advocate For Patient Rights."

If it sounds just a little fabricated, that's because it is. Here is a little more information from the Washington Post about "Conservatives for Patients Rights":


The television ads that began airing last week feature horror stories from Canada and the United Kingdom: Patients who allegedly suffered long waits for surgeries, couldn't get the drugs they needed, or had to come to the United States for treatment.

Before government rushes to overhaul health care, listen to those who already have government-run health care," intones Rick Scott, founder of a group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights. "Tell Congress to listen, too."

Scott, a multimillionaire investor and controversial former hospital chief executive, has become an unlikely and prominent leader of the opposition to health-care reform plans that Congress is expected to take up later this year. While disorganized Republicans and major health-care companies wait for President Obama and Democratic leaders to reveal the details of their plan before criticizing it, Scott is using $5 million of his own money and up to $15 million more from supporters to try to build resistance to any government-run program.

The campaign is being coordinated by CRC Public Relations, the group that masterminded the "Swift boat" attacks against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry, and is inspired by the "Harry and Louise" ads that helped torpedo health-care reform during the Clinton administration.


What about Rick Scott himself you ask? Here's the NY Times on Rick Scott's baggage:


Mr. Scotts emergence this spring as the most visible conservative opponent to Mr. Obamas not-fully-defined health care effort has former friends and foes alike doing double takes, given Mr. Scotts history.

Once lauded for building Columbia/HCA into the largest health care company in the world, Mr. Scott was ousted by his own board of directors in 1997 amid the nations biggest health care fraud scandal. The companys guilty plea and payment of $1.7 billion to settle charges including the overbilling of state and federal health programs was taken as a repudiation of Mr. Scotts relentless bottom-line approach.

Mr. Scott, a former Navy radar operator, built what would become Columbia/HCA from two hospitals in Texas into the largest health care chain in the world over just a few years. He seemed to relish publicly lambasting the nonprofit hospitals against which he competed and which he described as non-taxpaying hospitals impervious to real-world business concerns.

His approach earned him plenty of enmity, but also high praise. In 1996, Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential Americans for transforming how American hospitals do business, with an operation that consolidates operations and imposes cost controls.

Though Mr. Scott was not directly implicated in the fraud scandal with whistle-blower suits filed against some hospitals before his acquisition of them critics said his drive for profits had created incentive for fraud.

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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 10:08 AM
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1. Shameless Bump In Light Of GOP Claims That Protests Are Spontaneous
Yup, Rick Scott's actions are just an impulsive spontaneous move on his part.
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