Meet The Anti Health Reform Organizers Behind The Town Hall Disruptors
One of the key organizers against health care reform is Rick Scott, who heads a group called “Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.” Scott ran Columbia/HCA, which was fined $1.7 billion for fraud, the highest amount ever charged. Scott urges people to go to town hall meetings to confront those favoring national health care, and the ads he puts out denouncing health care systems in Canada and the UK are handled by the same PR firm that worked for the Swift Boat Vets.
Conservatives hate that anything they don’t approve of might be accomplished with their hard-earned tax dollars, but ironically, Scott’s company was fined for overbilling federal and state health plans which cost all taxpayers a fortune.
In an ad broadcast in the Washington area and in Scott’s home town of Naples, Fla., [in May], a group called Health Care for America Now says of Scott: “He and his insurance-company friends make millions from the broken system we have now.”
The group’s national campaign manager, Richard Kirsch, said: “Those attacking reform are really looking to protect their own profits, and he’s a perfect messenger for that. His history of making a fortune by destroying quality in the health-care system and ripping off the government is a great example of what’s really going on.”
CPR is behind an organized effort to get its members to town hall meetings, as Greg Sargent reports at The Plum Line.
In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform. The spokesperson, Brian Burgess, confirmed that CPR is emailing out “town hall alert” flyers, and schedules of town hall meetings, to its mailing list.
These efforts — combined with CPR’s effort to enlist Tea Party-ers, as reported yesterday by TPM — provide a glimpse into the ways anti-reform groups are trying to create a sense of public momentum in their favor.
Rick Sanchez took on Rick Scott and confronted him with hard facts. Best moment is when Scott says that the fines were paid after he left the company. Sanchez points out that, yes, that’s true, but the fines were for actions that took place when he was with the company. Scott comes back with,
Scott’s group isn’t alone, although it may be the most prominent. An association that represents 130 insurance providers, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has employees in 30 states tracking down where town hall meetings are taking place.Click here for reuse options!
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