Most American voters do not want a radical overhaul of the healthcare system, Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights Action Fund, said during a policy forum sponsored by the Congressional Health Care Caucus.
They are clearly suspicious of more government involvement and think it wont drive down costswhich is their biggest complaint about healthcare, Scott said.
Scott, of course, is the former chairman and CEO of the former Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., whose overly aggressive business strategies and tactics during his tenure ultimately led to the renamed HCA paying $1.74 billion in Medicare fraud settlements to the federal government. Scott founded Columbia Hospital Corp. in 1987. It acquired Hospital Corp. of America in 1994, and Scott ran the merged companies for three years until he was ousted in 1997.
Instead, consumers want the ability to choose their own doctor and health plan, he added. Scott unveiled a random national survey of 1,200 registered voters, which found that 55% of the respondents favored a privately run healthcare system, compared with those who favored a government-run system (37%). The survey was divided fairly evenly among Republican (30%) and Democratic voters (36%).
Panelists were hesitant to comment on Obamas healthcare reform platform, saying there wasnt enough information to draw firm conclusions, although Scott said that Obamas interest in providing a public option may have the effect of pushing people out of private insurance.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a physician who chairs the caucus, was optimistic that Obama and the Democratic majority would listen to GOP views on healthcare reform. The healthcare reform effort brewing in Congress seems to be a different product than the stimulus bill, where we were completely shut out, Burgess said.