Thursday, August 20, 2009

The 'heros' of Anti-Health Care Reform

The right-wing is trying to portray opposition to health care reform as emerging from the grassroots - the regular men and women of America who object to government interfering in how they get access to medical treatment

Protester picture borrowed from Looking at the Left

But it's becoming increasingly clear that the most effective anti-reform protests are being organized and orchestrated by political organizations - like Conservatives for Patients' Rights.

Conservatives for Patients' Rights is a health care pressure group which claims to lobby government to enact health care reform 'based on free-market principles.'

Their founder, Rick Scott, pushes the group's agenda through both high-cost advertising and organizing the group's supporters to attend and disrupt town hall meetings. They provide lists of local meetings for supporters to attend and provide video tutorials on how to most effectively push their agenda (largely by drowning out debate.)

But who is Rick Scott? And what are Conservatives for Patients' Rights' real aims?

Well, Rick Scott's no activist, leading the charge to preserve America's freedoms. He's a health industry insider with a checkered history; who stands to make millions by derailing health care reform.

Scott was the founder of Columbia Hospital Corporation, which was at the center of the one of the biggest Medicaid and Medicare frauds in American history. His group fleeced the government out of billions by charging for services they didn't render, giving their own organization kickbacks and self-referrals and issuing fraudulent cost reports.

Rick Scott was eventually ousted from the board of directors and plead guilty to fraud, earning a record fine of $1.7 billion dollars.

So we've already established that he's a liar and a fraud.

But that didn't keep him out of the health care industry. In fact, Scott then co-founded Solantic, an organization that provides urgent care services, immunizations, physicals and drug screenings - a business that stands to reap huge rewards by preventing the cost-cutting measures and government-run competition proposed by Obama.

So instead of being a hero of the free-market health care system, Rick Scott is a stooge. He founded Conservatives for Patient's Rights not to help Americans get fair access to affordable health care, but to derail health care reform.

And why? Well, in the words of rival group Health Care for America Now:
"Scott and his insurance company friends stand to make millions by preserving the broken system we have now."
And how about Conservatives for Patient's Rights? The group Scott founded?

The group rally support amongst grassroots protesters and regular Americans through well-funded advertising campaigns - claiming that health care reform will 'squeeze' Americans and provide 'lousy public health coverage.'
"Obamacare could crush all your other choices, driving them out of existence, resulting in 119 million off their current insurance coverage."
However, their adverts have been accused of being misleading, or even incorporating outright lies. This isn't surprising since the PR firm behind the commercials - Creative Response Concepts - is best known for their previous work with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - who ran a campaign of outright lies and slander intended to derail the election campaign of 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry.

'Swiftboating' is already in effect - a good example being how two British women were duped into recording for a fake 'documentary' on health care reform - only to find their words taken out of context and used in a Conservatives for Patient's Rights commercial slamming the NHS.
"I was told that they were a company in the United States who were doing a documentary on whether health care in the US should be nationalised," Katie Brickall, one of the duped women, told The Times. "I feel I was duped. The irony is that I campaign for exactly the people that socialised health care supports. I would never align myself with this group at all.”
FactCheck.org have a comprehensive list of lies Conservatives for Patient's Rights have told on their website, here and here.

To back up their campaign of misinformation, Rick Scott and the Conservatives for Patient's Rights list local Town Hall events across the country, and use email and social networking sights to orchestrate protests, demonstrations and disruptions to the political process.
"They have no plan for moving our country forward, so they've called out the mob."
The worst part of all this? The grassroots activists who are misguidedly working with Conservatives for Patient's Rights are actually shooting themselves in the foot.

Instead of defending their personal freedoms, fighting higher taxation and rebelling against unnecessary government interference, they're being used and manipulated into furthering the financial stranglehold the insurance companies have on the health care system.

If health care reform is derailed, these regular Americans will continue to feel the sting of higher insurance premiums, reduced coverage and shrinking services - while health industry stooges like Rick Scott will reap millions by milking the system for every penny he can squeeze out of it.

1 comment:

dyanna said...

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