Over here in Paducah, Kentucky we have some ultra-Conservative media. The Paxton Media Group owns several Western Kentucky newspapers including the Paducah Sun and they have their own little radio station that they allow propoganda masters such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingram to spew forth their venomous talking points. Lately, I have heard radio commercials from a group called “Conservatives for Patients Rights” running ads against the 50 million people who have no health insurance.
Lo and behold today I came across a story about them buying a cool million more in advertising across the country. It seems they want to derail President Obama’s attempt at helping those 50 million people without health insurance before even seeing his plan:
A conservative group is launching a $1 million ad buy Tuesday designed to tap into fears about the U.S. moving towards a nationalized system of health care.
Conservatives for Patient Rights will run a month of 60-second ads on CNN and Fox News that feature doctors from Britain and Canada describing the pitfalls of their nations’ health care.
The move is the latest by Rick Scott, the former chairman of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain, to discredit the Democratic approach to health care.
Democrats and advocacy groups supporting Obama’s health care overhaul have said Scott is using tired arguments that will ring hollow at a time when many Americans lack health insurance or struggle to afford it.
That got me to thinking. Just who is this Rick Scott and why does he have such a problem with Americans not having to worry about one stroke of bad luck ruining their lives and livelihoods?? A quick google shows that Mr. Scott is far more than a “concerned citizen”:
Richard L. Scott is unusual in these tough economic times: a rich, conservative investor willing to spend freely on a political cause.
Mr. Scott is starring in his own rotation of advertisements against the broad outlines of President Obama’s health care plans. (“Imagine waking up one day and all your medical decisions are made by a central, national board,” he warns in a radio spot.) He has dispatched camera crews to other countries to document the perils of socialized medicine.
Mr. Scott has no problem whatsoever in working with people who will distort the truth and downright lie to achieve their selfish political goals:
He visited with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week, and his new group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, has hired a leading conservative public relations firm, CRC, well known for its work with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, during his presidential campaign.
Of course birds of a feather flock together and a quick look into the past of Mr. Scott reveals much fraud and corruption:
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 nation’s biggest health care fraud scandal. The company’s 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. Scott’s relentless bottom-line approach.
“He hopes people don’t Google his name,” said John E. Hartwig, a former deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, one of various state and federal agencies that investigated Columbia/HCA when Mr. Scott was its chief executive.
Even some of his former allies are balking at the fact that Mr. Scott will be using his millions to lead the fight against Universal Healthcare this time around:
“I just don’t understand why he would be a messenger people would listen to,” said Charles N. Kahn III, who was a senior executive with the insurance industry group that ran the “Harry & Louise” advertisements credited with helping to kill the Clinton plan 15 years ago but who is working for a deal now. “I don’t think people are waiting to hear from him.”
But as always, the more money you have despite how corrupt or how much fraud you perpetuate, makes you just the kind of person that Republicans in Congress feel right at home with:
Mr. Scott is showing more support from some Republicans in Congress, though. Representative Michael C. Burgess, Republican of Texas and a member of the House health subcommittee, said in an interview that he had invited Mr. Scott to meet with him on Tuesday because he liked what Mr. Scott had been saying.
But of course for those who do not have to worry about having health insurance and seek to make sure that the 50 million Americans who do not have it remain uninsured, only one thing really matters:
Others say the scandal took place so long ago they can hardly remember it. “I remembered reading a newspaper article about it all,” said Merrill Matthews Jr., director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, a group that formed to fight the Clinton proposals and expects to fight Mr. Obama’s. Mr. Matthews said he would not shun Mr. Scott. “He’s bringing a lot of money to the table,” he said.
I think it is very fitting that the best person Conservatives can come up with to try and once again cheat the uninsured of something they desperately need, that will actually help American businesses if enacted is a crook who stands to profit if Universal Healthcare is defeated.
This is a problem that is not only crippling uninsured Americans, but American businesses too. I would like to remind Mr. Scott that before a Patient can have “rights” they must first be able to afford to be a patient. Of course, with his millions he can waste to propogandize Americans that is simply not a problem for him. For millions of us though, it is a worry we live with daily.
Hopefully this time around Americans will shun the disgusting tactics of men like Mr. Scott who seek to preserve their bottom lines at the expense of millions of their fellow Americans. Universal Healthcare is an ideas whose time has come and one needs to merely look at the character of those who would seek to defeat it to know that we simply must fight for it. Those who need it most have not the money to propogandize and distort the truth about it.