NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2010
Rick Scott-Too Slick For Mitt Romney
Even Mitt Romney, who once “benefited from the sale of a medical company that later admitted it had profited from Medicare fraud,” [Associated Press, 10/11/02] couldn’t bring himself to endorse fellow disgraced businessman Rick Scott for the Florida Republican gubernatorial nomination. Rick Scott also benefited from his time as President of Columbia/HCA which pled guilty to Medicare fraud and settled for $1.7 billion, the largest Medicare fraud settlement in U.S. history.
“Mitt Romney, who once benefited from a company that profited from Medicare fraud, must have been torn on who to endorse,” Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said. “On the one hand, he had Rick Scott and his big ugly ‘Medicare Fraud’ stain, or on the other hand he had Bill McCollum who introduced a bill in Congress to help protect drug companies accused of Medicare or Medicaid fraud. Thankfully, the people of Florida aren’t stuck with a choice between these flawed Republican politicians because we are going to elect Alex Sink as Florida’s next Governor to restore our economy and put our state back on track,” Jotkoff said.
Palm Beach Post: As Scott Was Ousted From His Company Amid A Medicare Fraud Investigation He Got To Keep Millions. “As co-founder and CEO of the hospital company Columbia/HCA, he ran a business that paid a $1.7 billion fine – the largest ever – to atone for fraud that included bilking Medicare out of billions of dollars. This self-professed hands-on manager, who says he’ll watch over every state dollar, escaped prosecution by claiming that he didn’t know what his company was doing. Shortly after the FBI raided Columbia/HCA’s offices, Mr. Scott was ousted. He got to keep $10 million in severance and stock worth a reported $300 million, fattened by all those Medicare overcharges.” [Palm Beach Post, Editorial, 5/28/10]
2002: Mitt Romney Struggled To Explain Reports That He Benefited From The Sale Of A Company That Later Admitted It Had Profited From Medicare Fraud. In October 2002, The Associated Press reported that Mitt Romney “made $473,000 from the 1993 sale to Corning Inc. of Damon Clinical Laboratories, whose profits were generated in part by fraudulently billing Medicare for unneeded blood tests. Romney’s firm, Bain Capital Inc., tripled its investment in the company and made $7.4 million.” The AP added, “Republican Mitt Romney is struggling to explain reports that he benefited from the sale of a company that later admitted it had profited from Medicare fraud.” [The Associated Press, 10/11/02]
McCollum Pushed Legislation That Would Have “Gutted” A Federal Whistleblower Act And Was Designed To Halt Federal Investigations Of Columbia/HCA And Other Similar Cases. As a Congressman, Bill McCollum “pushed legislation that, critics said, would have ‘gutted’ a federal whistleblower act and was designed to halt federal investigations of hospitals — namely Columbia/HCA, which was run at one point by his new political rival, Rick Scott.” The “legislation would have forced whistleblowers to meet a higher standard of evidence to file fraud claims, boosted the amount of fraud a company had to commit in order to trigger a claim and it wiped out whistleblower suits retroactively.” [Times/Herald, 5/25/10]
The News-Press: Congressman McCollum Filed A Controversial Bill That Would Have Beefed Up Protection For Drug Companies Accused Of Medicare Or Medicaid fraud. In Congress, Bill McCollum “filed a controversial bill that would have beefed up protection for drug companies accused of Medicare or Medicaid fraud.” [The News-Press, 5/26/07]