You may or may not have seen Alex Sink’s latest web commercial featuring a slightly more hirsute Rick Scott back from his days as Columbia/HCA CEO. The two-minute clip attempts to portray Scott in a less than favorable light to say the least, and the perceptions that the ad will generate will probably accomplish that goal in the minds of some. However, it’s the “truthiness’ of the ad which is highly suspect and misleading. The ad is actually a bunch of video clips spliced together from a deposition that Scott gave back in 1995 in a suit involving Orlando Regional Healthcare System that are intentionally taken out of context, and it’s meant to reinforce the perception that Scott had a history of evasiveness even before the Feds came after Columbia/HCA and the rest of the hospital industry.
The Miami Herald and other newspapers republished the transcript of the Sink ad- but why not to publish the entire deposition transcript which would provide readers a lot more context to Scott’s answers? As per usual, these legacy media outlets aren’t really interested in giving their readers a more accurate account of the proceeding, and their primary concern is to make Scott look bad. You can actually view the entire two hour deposition here (recommended if you want to induce sleep), where Scott comes across much more forthcoming; and under the guidance of his own counsel, he provides direct answers to the questions of opposing counsel. Upon listening to the entire deposition, it appears that the opposing counsel was on a fishing expedition, as his line of questioning was looking to trip Scott up on something as he asked Scott questions that didn’t appear to be particularly germane to what Orlando Regional Healthcare System’s claims were against Columbia/HCA. This attorney seemed preoccupied with asking Scott many questions regarding Columbia/HCA’s business plans and strategy that seemed to have little to do with ORHS’s actual claims against HCA (a case where HCA prevailed).
Scott was at the forefront of the struggle against nationalized health care, as the first battle against government-run health care was fought by Scott and others in the health care industry back in 1993. After the Clinton Administration lost the fight to impose “HillaryCare”, the Clintons then sought to extract their revenge against those hospital executives and their networks who opposed their efforts. It’s no accident that the Clinton Administration’s conveniently-named “Operation Restore Trust” (ORT) was immediately launched to supposedly combat health care fraud in the wake of HillaryCare’s defeat- no doubt more than a little ironic that ORT was initiated by the same President who had his own issues with regards to “trust”. ”ORT” was much more interested in playing “gotcha” with health care administrators with confusing Medicare rules and regulations than it was with going after egregious cases of fraud.
For those of you fence sitters who are concerned about the far-reaching effects of ObamaCare in the State of Florida, you only have one real choice in this election to stop ObamaCare’s implementation at the state’s lines. Rick Scott has survived and thrived in a cut throat industry where competitors and the federal government trained their sights on him. A vote for Sink is a vote to allow ObamaCare to continue to make inroads into Florida’s health care system, and with it, further damage to the responsiveness of the health care system, and higher costs for patients as we move closer towards single-payer nirvana.
For some really good background information on Rick Scott as he navigated the hospital industry in the 1990s, check out Matt Walsh’s excellent piece in the Gulf Coast Business Review.