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Medicare Fraud's Rick Scott Leading in Florida Gov. Race

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, June 10, 2010 4:34 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Rick Scott, Florida, Governor, HCA, Medicare, Medicaid, Fraud


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IMAGE SOURCE: YouTube video Web site of Rick Scott on CNN

Gov. Rick Scott?

The healthcare industry has been good To Rick Scott.

The former head of Columbia /HCA, Rick Scott hopes to become the next governor of Florida.

Scott is leading Attorney General Bill McCollum in a poll released today, by a margin of 44 to 31 percent.

The Quinnipiac University poll also finds that Scott leads Democrat, Alex Sink, the state’s Chief Financial Officer.

Who is Rick Scott?

For one thing he is a millionaire (some say billionaire) thanks to his health care companies. He has never held public office and is hoping to cash in on his record as a businessman.

But that’s the problem too.

In his television ads, Scott, 57, addresses the controversial past of Columbia/HCA. When he was chief executive, the hospital chain committed among the largest Medicare and Medicaid fraud in history and paid $1.7 billion in fines after Scott left.

Scott looks at the camera in one of his $12 million worth of broadcast ads and admits to his corporate past, which is being brought up by his opposition, McCollum.

But he tries to turn a negative into a positive, telling viewers that he addressed the situation and took charge. “I accept responsibility for what happened on my watch,” he says.

His next venture was a statewide chain of walk-in clinics, Solantic. But that too was controversial. The first medical director David Yarin, later blew the whistle on the company, saying Scott told him not to hire the overweight, people of Middle Eastern descent or a Hispanic male nurse with an accent.

Yarin said speaking about Scott, “He said in a meeting with all the other staff that the people we hire for our centers have to be mainstream American,” reports the Florida Independent. Yarin sued the company and reportedly settled in 2002. Scott has called Yarin a disgruntled ex-employee. Five Solantic managers later filed suit against Scott and the company saying they too were asked to enforce Solantic’s discriminatory practices.

More background from Salon- Scott’s father was a truck driver and Scott went to law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas then worked for a large firm representing hospitals in mergers and acquisitions. Seeing the profit potential in health care, he partnered with Richard Rainwater, a friend and investor for the Bush family, in buying two hospitals in Texas, the beginning of Columbia Healthcare Corp.

Journalist Maggie Mahar writes about Scott and profit-driven healthcare in her book, “Money over Medicine.”

"Mothers may tell their children that money can't buy happiness, but what these results show is that money can buy enough television ads to make political neophytes serious contenders for major political office,'' said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute tells Health News Florida.

McCollum has spent more than $800,000 on advertising, and his Alliance for America’s Future has spent nearly $2 million attacking Scott as a fraud.

The poll also found that 56 percent of 1,133 respondents did not like the federal health reform, and that is the one thing that both Scott and McCollum hope to take to the bank. Salon reports that Scott raised $20 million to fight Obamacare with his group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.

The Republican primary for governor is scheduled for August 24. #


13 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Anthony Mesquida
Saturday, June 19, 2010 8:39 PM EST

Are the voters of this state so stupid that they will vote for a candidate, Rick Scott, who has committed fraud in the billions against the tax payers? I don't care how many churches he attends. Do we want him to do to our state what he did when he was head of the Columbia/HCA

Anonymous User
Posted by It'sjustme
Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:49 PM EST

wolf in sheeps clothing hiding behind the American flag?

Anonymous User
Posted by Qhao
Saturday, July 10, 2010 6:45 PM EST

Rick Scott is a mudslinger and has no friends!

Anonymous User
Posted by aloha77
Monday, July 12, 2010 11:43 PM EST

you guys said it all

Anonymous User
Posted by loree squires
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:18 PM EST

i am voting for rick no matter what the others say. he addressed d i belive him innocent, as far as discrimination, i also would like his rules enforced.

Anonymous User
Posted by Roberta
Sunday, July 25, 2010 7:25 PM EST

People are really stupid in this state. This man committed the largest medicare and medicaid fraud and paid a 1.7 billion in fines. To think that even one person could vote for him in this state speaks volumes. Dumb, stupid and pathetic.

Anonymous User
Posted by roger
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:51 PM EST

un freakin believable that anyone would vote for him.

Anonymous User
Posted by Dolly Sue
Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:14 PM EST

Put all the dollars in all Health Care fraud cases together, it might add up to our total national deficit with Rick being king... no wonder our healthcare premiums are unreachable! WAKE UP FLORIDA, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO TO OUR STATE BUDGET? Why isn't this man in prison?

Anonymous User
Posted by Dolly Sue
Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:19 PM EST

Put all the dollars in all Health Care fraud cases together, it might add up to our total national deficit with Rick being king... no wonder our healthcare premiums are unreachable! WAKE UP FLORIDA, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO TO OUR STATE BUDGET? Why isn't this man in prison?

Anonymous User
Posted by Dolly Sue
Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:20 PM EST

Put all the dollars in all Health Care fraud cases together, it might add up to our total national deficit with Rick being king... no wonder our healthcare premiums are unreachable! WAKE UP FLORIDA, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO TO OUR STATE BUDGET? Why isn't this man in prison?

Anonymous User
Posted by Dolly Sue
Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:21 PM EST

Put all the dollars in all Health Care fraud cases together, it might add up to our total national deficit with Rick being king... no wonder our healthcare premiums are unreachable! WAKE UP FLORIDA, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO TO OUR STATE BUDGET? Why isn't this man in prison?

Anonymous User
Posted by Jess
Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:33 PM EST

i can't agree more with everyone. this man shouldn't even be allowed to run for governor. Thats the problem with the us now way too much freaking liberty, especially when u r rich!!!!!!!!! this man made his living defrauding tax payers u know the same ones who are constanly complaining about the poor getting help from tax payers. and yet he is allowed to submit his papers to run the state. clearly he's a bigot who has issues with other nationalities and a flat out racist. i see now why he wants to bring arizona's law to florida but then again i wonder who cleans his mansion and cut's his grass. america has become a joke since illiterate G.W. bush took over this country and it's still going in a downward spiral

Anonymous User
Posted by David McCormack (FL) - CEO
Sunday, August 08, 2010 7:48 AM EST

As a CEO we do what we have to do for the bollom line that we get our stock options. It is better to defraud and get caught and then only pay back only a portion of what we defrauded the government out of, than let our company bottom line suffer. That’s our job. We don't pay back the bonus we received, the company pays back only a small portion of what they received. Is Rick Scott honest and the best to the job? Hell no but he knows how to manipulate the system so well you have to admire him. How do you think he got all of his money for his advertizments he has on TV?

Comments for this article are closed.

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