Healthcare reform has more momentum than at any time in the past 15 years, so its not surprising that a new group has formed to play a role in the debate. The leader of that group, however, may be a surprise: Rick Scott, the founder of Columbia Hospital Corp.
Scotts Columbia, of course, went on to merge with Hospital Corporation of America and the merged company later became the target of a massive federal fraud investigation that Columbia/HCA paid $1.7 billion to settle in total.
Scotts new group, Conservatives for Patients Rights, conveniently leaves the fraud part out of his biography.
CPR (clever, that) started a media blitz last week that includes television and radio ads featuring Scott talking about the groups four pillars of reform: choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility. The ads are available on the groups Web site, cprights.org. Outliers heard one of the ads on an all-news radio station in Washington.
Outliers also found the news coverage of CPRs launch curious in one aspect. Most of the stories refer to Scott as the former chief of HCA without even mentioning Columbia. Whatever their individual merits, it has always been Scott and the Columbians, if you will, who seemed to rankle their fellow hospital providers, rather than HCA and its Frist founders.