Trump picks Medicare fraudster to be point man for killing health care


Trump wants to 'terminate' Obamacare — and he's chosen Medicare fraudster Rick Scott to execute his vision.

Trump has picked an accomplice to help him in his mission to "terminate" health care coverage for millions of Americans: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who once bilked Medicare for millions.

Trump has assigned Scott, along with Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), to lead his legislative team tasked with dismantling Obamacare.

"Good things are going to happen!" Trump wrote on Monday, touting the team to be led by the recently-elected Florida senator. He also promised reporters the team would come up with "something really spectacular."

"Spectacular" would be a good way to describe the corruption and graft that took place on Scott's watch when he was an executive in the health care industry.

Scott served as CEO of Columbia/HCA as the company defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs. The criminality was so rampant on Scott's watch that the Department of Justice fined Columbia/HCA $1.7 billion, in what was then the largest health care fraud settlement in American history.

A joint investigation of the company was undertaken by the FBI, IRS, and Department of Health and Human Services. Columbia/HCA eventually admitted in court that it systematically overcharged the government and took taxpayer money for services it had not provided.

The company did things like charging the government for its marketing expenses, inflating the seriousness of medical diagnoses, paying kickbacks to doctors for referring patients to them, and fraudulently billing the government for home health care workers.

As the investigation became public, the company forced Scott out. He walked away with millions of dollars, and now sits on a $500 million fortune — some of which he has kept off-shore, conveniently avoiding taxes.

Scott was the "most visible symbol of profit-driven medical care," the New York Times reported at the time of his ouster.

Scott fits in perfectly with Trump's and Republicans' attempts to destroy affordable health care.

For the last 9 years, Republicans have voted over and over again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, passed by congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama, and strip health insurance for millions while allowing insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Republicans lost control of the House in part thanks to their obsession with making Americans suffer. Instead of listening to the millions of people who rejected their decade-long crusade against Obamacare, Trump is leading Republicans to fight against health insurance once again.

For this task, he has chosen Rick Scott — who led a crooked organization that picked profits over patients without hesitation.

Trump and Republicans refuse to learn their lesson.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.