Who are these Teabagger candidates, anyway? – Rick Scott Edition
Rick Scott should be a familiar enough name to anyone whose lived through the Healthcare Reform battle of last year. As the founder and former CEO of healthcare giant Columbia/HCA Rick Scott held a commanding post over the lucrative cashcow that is the Healtcare industry. Corrupt wouldn’t even begin to describe the way in which Rick Scott operated his mega-corporation, a company who as the largest healthcare provider in the country was tasked with providing quality medical care and resources for the sick and injured. A company that Rick Scott publicly stated he wanted to run with the penny pinching bottom-line efficiency of a Wal-Mart, hoping one day Columbia/HCA could be “the McDonalds of the Healthcare industry”.
Under Rick Scott’s guiding hand Columbia/HCA began to bilk the federal government out of hundreds of millions of Medicare dollars, falsifying documents, scamming their own sick customers just so Rick could make a few extra million dollars for himself. When the 1994 Healthcare debate began Rick Scott and his company heralded the single most successful campaign to defeat then President Clinton’s efforts to provide coverage and care for the neediest patients in the country. You’d think a Healthcare company would be a little more compassionate about helping their own customers. Scott’s swindling scam continued until 1997 when the government began to get wise to the rampant corruption and abuse of the Medicare system and took action against Columbia/HCA to the tune of $1.7 BILLION dollars. The Columbia/HCA settlement still stands as the single biggest fraud settlement in the history of the United States. It also cost Rick Scott his job as CEO (a narrow margin of 1 vote from HCA’s board decided Scott’s fate).
As a disgraced fraudster who some how avoided jail time for his misdeeds (scamming the government out of money for the sick and elderly) Rick Scott soon found himself working in venture capital (again in the healthcare industry). With his new found funds and the country’s renewed interest in reforming the Healthcare system, this time with a campaign led by President Obama, Rick Scott again began to mobilize his wealth in order to fight “socialized medicine” and “Obamacare”. With his own millions, Rick Scott created the astroturf organization “Conservatives for Patient’s Rights” which was, again, one of the if not the most vocal money-fueled opponent of the Obama Healthcare Reform plan (Dick Armey’s Tea Party was a close second).
After all, if Healthcare Reform did pass this time Rick Scott would stand to lose money in his own awful business interests, like Solantic LLC, a walk-in clinic that charges patients like a fast-food chain would (pricing options fall under “small, medium, or large” scale) or the failed TV venture he went in on with a former Columbia/HCA executive called America’s Health Network that broadcasts medical and wellness programming. It shuttered in 2001, but not before Columbia/HCA made a bid to buy the network from their former CEO. Then it turns out Columbia/HCA couldn’t afford the deal and declined the investment, and then they laid off 80% of their work force because they were so horrible and out of cash (due to the $1.7 BILLION DOLLARS they were paying back to the federal government).
Oh and he also invested in the Texas Rangers baseball team with George W. Bush back in the 1990s. I’ll let that speak for itself.
And now, Rick Scott is taking his money bags (from Stamford, Conn) to higher ambitions. Rick Scott is officially running for governor of every Healthcare mogul’s favorite place to do business, Florida. It’s no wonder Rick Scott chose to run in Florida actually. As we all know, Florida houses one of the biggest populations of the elderly and aging in the country, a demographic that truly is in need of the latest in healthcare advances. Florida is also known for its lucrative and shady pain clinics, a system set up much like California’s medical marijuana dispensaries except that instead of selling a harmless plant they deal in expensive and highly-potent narcotics (that earn more for the Pharmaceutical companies than any MMJ clinic could ever dream of). Florida would be the perfect place for a multi-millionaire healthcare executive to shack up as governor for a few years, possibly “reforming” their medical system so much that it would allow Rick Scott’s own healthcare business interests to suck up even more money from the poor and disadvantaged.
Richard L. Scott Investments LLC is based out of Florida after all. Like our own millionaire gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Rick Scott has spent about $60 million dollars of his own money to fund his campaign. It would seem as though Rick Scott has an incredibly vested interest in running the same state where his healthcare companies are based. A state that sees some of the biggest expenditures on healthcare costs in the country. The only state in the nation where you can find Rick Scott’s Solantic McClinics, the only for-profit clinic in the United States that carries pharmaceuticals from Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Inc., another Rick Scott investment that pushes generic drugs to customers sold at prices well below that of the competition. A strategic business relationship and money making scheme, not unlike the rampant corruption found at Columbia/HCA during Scott’s days, that has former doctors alleging that Solantic pushed them to prescribe unnecessary medications through the Pharmaca brand and required them to run unnecessary tests and procedures on patients who enter Solantic clinics with nothing more than common colds.
And this man, Rick Scott, will quite possibly win the gubernatorial election in Florida. A man whose is banking his campaign and his campaign’s advertising blitz on Scott’s reputation and record as a sterling business man. As a candidate and former corporate scammer who says he wants to “run Flordia like a business” it remains to be seen just how far into the ditch Rick Scott can drive things before getting voted out by the board of directors and walking away with a $310 million dollar severance package.