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Business group urges Floridians to say 'No thanks' to Medicaid expansion

While some of the state's top business groups have warmed up to the idea of accepting federal money and expanding Florida's Medicaid program, The National Federation of Independent Business is saying "No Thanks."

In a new ad, the group said it worries that the federal government will not follow through with its promise to pay for most of the cost of providing healthcare coverage for more lower-income residents. That would lead to budget problems in Florida--including cuts to education spending, the group says in its ad. Supporters of Medicaid expansion counter that it will create jobs, improve health outcomes and save the state money.

Gov. Rick Scott is supporting an expanstion of the Medicaid rolls, while the Florida Legislature has rejected the idea. Lawmakers are hoping to work on a compromise.



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No More Rick Scott

"Employees had to meet certain financial targets. Executives who could not meet their goals were fired, Schilling said. Up to half of some executives' salaries was tied to end-of-year bonuses.

Less than six months after arriving in Fort Myers as a Medicare billing specialist, Schilling said he received a phone call from a Medicare auditor asking about suspicious financial activity at one of Columbia's facilities, Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte."


No More Rick Scott

‘Scott ran a company that paid a record fine for committing Medicare fraud’

In the spring of 1987, Scott purchased two Texas hospitals to start a company first known as Columbia. He quickly grew the company by purchasing more hospitals to create a large and profitable network.

In 1994, Columbia purchased Tennessee-headquartered HCA and its 100 hospitals, and merged the companies. Columbia/HCA grew to more than 340 hospitals, 135 surgery centers and 550 home health locations, employing more than 285,000 people.

Scott resigned as chief executive officer in 1997, the year that federal agents went public with an investigation into the company, first seizing records from four El Paso-area hospitals and then expanding across the country.

In time, it became apparent that the investigation focused on whether Columbia/HCA bilked Medicare and Medicaid for tests that were not necessary or ordered by physicians, and for attaching false diagnosis codes to patient records to increase reimbursement to the hospitals.

Scott resigned as CEO in July, less than four months after the inquiry became public. Company executives said that if Scott had remained CEO, the entire chain could have been in jeopardy. At issue, Scott said, was that he wanted to fight the federal government accusations. The corporate board of the publicly traded company wanted to settle.



Survival of the richest.

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