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Want to Know Why Mitt Romney Flip Flopped on Health Care?

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Mitt’s flip flops make him the new record holder for reversals and weaseling out of previous statements. Yet “Few individuals or organizations have been as influential as Mitt Romney and Bain Capital in worsening our runaway health care costs, says RJ Eskow. I urge you to read the entire article I have linked above.  As you know, Bain buys up companies and puts  bottom-line pressure to jack up health care costs. Meanwhile, Bain picks off everything of value, forces the company to excessively leverage itself, and then, often, Bain walks away leaving the company a worthless hulk and the employees looking for jobs. But when it comes to health care acquisitions, Bain profiteers on sick people, often subjecting them to needless surgeries and then overcharge them. Consider the following Eskow revelations:

* Bain purchased drug store chain Duane Reade. The CEO Bain hired was himself later convicted of investor fraud and the chain sold out-of-date drugs and baby formula.

* Damon International’s CEO, another Bain hire for a Bain acquisition, was convicted for tricking doctors into ordering unnecessary tests and billing them to Medicare. It is particularly heinous that the program Mitt seeks to gut what has been his cash cow.

* Bain was among the first companies to use leveraged buyouts to over-treat patients and over-bill payers and patients.

* Bain bought Dade International, a medical equipment suppler, and milked bankruptcy laws to enrich Bain executives with investors’ money. Note that Romney remained Bain’s owner after he stopped leading it day-to-day.  Dade was sold to Siemens at fire sale prices, according to Eskow. Investors got pennies on the dollar.  And private insurers, Medicare, and ultimately all of us paid.

* Bain purchased CRC Health Group, a chain of drug treatment facilities. Another leveraged buyout, CRC was accused of numerous cases of abuse and neglect…all the while Bain profiteered.

* Perhaps the worst instance of Bain’s affect on the quality of health care was its purchase of HCA. This particular purchase is rich with GOP taint.  (The Frist family once owned the chain but sold it. Then Rick Scott famously “led” the chain while the chain defrauded Medicare of billions of dollars.  Remember, HCA was, as an organization, charged with vast Medicare billing fraud and charged the biggest fine in medicare history, $1.7 billion. Notably Gov Rick Scott, the then CEO got off Scott-free so to speak. Still it is hard to believe that he knew nothing about the goings on there. And now he sits in the governor’s mansion of Florida. Apparently, according to Eskow, HCA facilities ignored accusations that the chain’s surgeons were performing unnecessary heart surgeries and fired a whistleblower who reported that.  They had bottom-line targets to hit.  

Dear readers, this is what is harming health care in general and Medicare in particular. Bain-style profiteering off Medicare have upped insurance premium costs and caused Medicare Part A’s financial pressures. They’ve harmed sick people and brought households to their knees. Part B, the premium based portion (Note: Part A, funded by payroll withholding, is in good shape.) It is beyond reprehensible that in order to save its ability to savage the sick, privateers like Mitt Romney aim to whack the entire system for a voucher plan.

As Eskow says, “Unnecessary surgeries at HCA? Fraudulent billing of Medicare? Expired baby formula at Duane Read?  That’s the real RomneyCare.” And it more than explains Romney’s MA health care plan, which purposely did not contain medical costs. It also explains why even that was too much to countenance now.  His new-found opposition as Obamacare is most likely attributable to the fact that it reins in the excess costs and abuse he has profited from. He may not be running Bain any more, but he still profits from a dysfunctional, fraudulent, and gouging health care system. Mitt Romney IS the problem.

Ann Romney has said it is “our turn now.”  I don’t think so.  No one has an inalienable right to the presidency, least of all the very vultures which have derailed both our economy and our health care system and NOT TOLD THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT.  

PS If you are as ticked off about that as I am, tall 10 or 20 of your friends.