Back at home, however, my letter to The Hill about Rick Scott has been posted. Here it is in all its glory (“Health care” was 2 words in my submission btw):
Tainted healthcare executive makes discredited arguments
By Jacki Schechner, national communications director, Health Care for America Now
Posted: 05/05/09 06:23 PM [ET]
(Regarding letter to the editor “Healthcare reform in reality is dreadful ‘stealthcare’ plan,” April 23.) At some point in the healthcare reform debate, men like Rick Scott will have to get real.
Scott uses stale, already-discredited talking points to argue against modernizing our healthcare system, against arming our doctors with the best possible information to administer the best possible medical care, and against letting us have the choice between private and public health insurance plans so we are no longer at the mercy of greedy, profit-driven private health insurers who put shareholders and CEO salaries before people’s health.
Anyone who has ever had to try to get medical files sent from one doctor’s office to another or had to recall medical history details in an emergency knows how valuable it will be to have this information computerized. Healthcare providers explain time and time again the importance of comparative effectiveness research and how it’s essential to figuring out which medications and treatments will work best for their patients irrespective of cost, and yet men like Scott insist on screaming “rationed health care!” and “socialized medicine!”
President Obama, the Democratic leadership in Congress and a majority of the public supports choice — keep your private health insurance or join a new public health insurance plan — and still opponents cry conspiracy and warn of some nefarious plot to secretly trick everyone into some fabricated, bogeyman healthcare system that exists only in their wildest imaginations.
In what is perhaps the most outrageous claim of Rick Scott’s latest diatribe, the former hospital chain CEO who was forced to resign just before his company paid out $1.7 billion in penalties and fines — the largest in U.S. history — for defrauding the government, making illegal deals, filing false data, granting kickbacks to doctors, and overbilling Medicare — accuses Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of wanting to “cook the books” to pay for healthcare reform. Just because Scott ran a corporation that believed in making money at the expense of honesty and good healthcare does not mean anyone else believes that’s a justifiable strategy.
Men like Scott should step aside and let us get back to discussing real details of reform that will help us finally achieve a guarantee of quality, affordable healthcare for all in 2009.