I was the billing manager.
by Donna Smith;
One example of the terribly biased testimonies being taken is that of the testimony submitted by Richard Scott to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, subcommittee on health, on March 24, 2009. Mr. Scott reports that he was asked to submit his testimony to the committee. On his website, Conservatives for Patient Rights, Scott touts his own experience in the delivery of healthcare in this nation as reason enough to consider him an expert. And Scott is also launching some very inaccurate advertising on behalf of his "organization" in the effort to keep himself and his closet allies in the insurance and private provider industry in a very preferred position in the U.S. healthcare system.
Here's a bit of this Congressional expert witness's biography: Scott founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1987, but dumped by the company's board of directors in 1997 in the midst of the nation's biggest healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid) fraud scandal. In 2001, Scott co-founded the Solantic Corporation, which operates walk-in medical care centers.
We need to know more about who is influencing Congress and the media now in the discussion. So, here's more about witness Scott: In July 1997, when Scott was then the chairman and CEO of Columbia/Hospital Corporation of America and was forced out by the company's board of directors, he left with a $10 million severance deal and 10 million shares of stock. At that time, the shares were worth more than $300 million. Scott was replaced by Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., the co-founder of HCA and the brother of Senator Bill Frist, then Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate.
It's all just a little incestuous, don't you think?
But wait, our 2009 expert witness on healthcare reform in the U.S. left a little more than history behind at his company that speaks to how he views what is most important to him: making a buck in this system.
In 2001, HCA reached a plea agreement to pay $95 million in fines to the federal government to avoid criminal charges against the company. In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the government $631 million, plus interest, and paid another $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims. In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $1.7 billion to settle, including more than $500 million paid in 2003 to two whistleblowers.
$1.7 billion with a great big "B" was paid by HCA to resolve the Medicare and Medicaid fraud mess orchestrated under Mr. Scott's watch who walked away with his own sweet deal. The largest Medicare and Medicaid fraud case in U.S. history, an investigation of over 10 years and he walks away with hundreds of millions of dollars only to return as one of our current expert witnesses on health reform? Whew. That's an epic award and an epic injustice.
I was the billing manager. I was asked to do some very creative bookkeeping and went to the Medicare law and read that I would be risking prosecution if "I knew or should have known" what I was doing was illegal under federal law. As I read the law, it broadly imposed appropriate sanctions upon those who might consider bilking the taxpayer-funded system....
....We must demand that our Congress and our president hear from experts that are not of this ilk. We are better people than this. And our healthcare system must reflect our values of justice, decency and compassion. Dr. David Himmelstein of Physicians for a National Health Program testified finally a couple of weeks ago - but so far he has been the only expert from outside the corporate fold allowed to utter a word on the Congressional record on behalf of single payer. The Senate has invited no witness who strays from the canned agenda that will force us all to buy the defective product that is for-profit health insurance.
Mr. Scott didn't care one bit about ripping off you and ripping off me and ripping off any other patient or taxpayer in this nation. He should not be an expert now advising Congress or anyone else on healthcare reform. His commercials and his organization's communications should have to carry a disclaimer fully disclosing his involvement in the Columbia/HCA fraud case.
I support H.R.676, the United States National Health Insurance Act. I would like to see section 211 line 6) removed. I would prefer to see it funded by a progressive income tax so each person could see exactly what it costs them, rather than have a portion of it funded by "instituting a small tax on stock and bond transactions". Otherwise it is the best available option for healthcare.
I am unable to sort through the 17000 different plans currently available to select the plan best for me. Armed with my computerized health records and family history, for profit insurers will be able to offer a plan that satisfies their responsibility to their shareholders to maximize profit and minimize expenses. In the event I become sick and unable to work for longer than I can continue to make insurance payments, I need healthcare that will not be stopped or delayed. I want to be able to choose to buy private coverage for any treatments that are not covered by this Single Payer plan.
I have more confidence in physicians to recommend my treatment than I do insurers.
Support for Single Payer H.R 676 is widespread among physicians, nurses, unions, and many business's.
Single Payer has the support of over 90 Representatives.
The Capitol Switchboard to reach your congressman is 202-224-3121
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