Today he has a few legal worries. But in 2007, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was on a populist crusade to bring universal healthcare to the state. This is Armageddon, and we are on the side of the Lord, he said, paraphrasing Teddy Roosevelt.
Outliers: From crusade for healthcare to impeachment and beyond
A former senior adviser described his old boss as anything but. In testimony delivered to an Illinois House panel that impeached Blagojevich Jan. 9, Bob Arya said the governor wanted to set himself up for a run for the White House, thus the healthcare push. Arya also recalled that Blagojevich summarily rejected a nurses plea for her record to be expunged because a political opponent had written on her behalf, saying F him and casting the letter toward the garbage can.
Blagojevichs attention to healthcare could have made him a plausible candidate for HHS secretary, a notion that appeared comical when the governor allegedly floated it as part of a criminal horse-trading scheme in a conversation wiretapped by federal prosecutors.
Besides Aryas take, the hearings in the Illinois General Assembly leading to Blagojevichs impeachment Jan. 9 painted several of the two-term governors brazen healthcare gambits as abuses of power, including and beyond his involvement in certificate-of-need kickback schemes alleged in a criminal complaint against him.
Pamela Davis, the Edwards Hospital CEO who wore a wire to help launch the probe that eventually ensnared the governor and his associates, says shes still feeling the effects of the ordeal since the project she sought CON approval for has never been OKd. I actually believe there is revenge occurring, Davis says. Our project continues to be tainted by the fact that I stood up and did the right thing.
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