SANCHEZ VS. SCOTT…. Under the circumstances, Rick Scott, whose Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is helping gin up anti-reform mobs, should probably be a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.
Scott is not only funding a right-wing campaign to undermine Americans’ chances for reform, and not only airing spectacularly dishonest television ads that can’t withstand scrutiny, but he’s also a scandal-plagued former health care executive who was at the center of a massive fraud scandal. In other words, as p.r. strategies go, it doesn’t make sense to put Rick Scott out in front, talking to major news outlets.
But he doesn’t seem to realize that, so Scott chatted with CNN’s Rick Sanchez yesterday. It didn’t go well. “Some would argue, and it would be hard to say they’re wrong, that you would be the poster child for everything that’s wrong with the greed that has hurt our current health care system,” Sanchez said.
When Scott tried to spin his way out of the criticism, and say that other health care companies were also found to have committed fraud because of that darned Clinton administration that refused to look the other way, Sanchez added, “How much more wrong can you be than what you just said? Not only is your company screwed up — and you just admitted to it — but you said look at all the other companies, they did the same thing. It doesn’t sound like a sterling system we have here, does it?”
When the CNN host noted that Scott’s company had to pay $1.7 billion in fines, the highest in American history, Scott said the fines were paid after he’d left the company. He neglected to mention the fines covered fraud perpetrated under his watch, and he was forced out of his job because of the scandal.
“Some people are gonna look at your record … and say, ‘This is the guy leading this charge? Is he the one we should be listening to?’” Sanchez asked. Scott’s best defense? “No one went to jail” as a result of his company’s massive and systemic defrauding of American taxpayers.
If we’re really lucky, Rick Scott will do a lot more non-Fox News interviews as the reform debate continues.