Jan 6, 2003
Bill Frist, new Republican leader in the Senate, comes from a very wealthy family that made its fortune in the health care industry. Frist's father and older brother founded HCA, a for-profit hospital chain in 1968. Frist, who was only a teenager, nonetheless derived his wealth from HCA – which today is the biggest hospital chain in the country , controlling directly or indirectly hundreds of facilities. HCA recently came into the news because it was ordered to pay the biggest fine on record – for defrauding the Medicare program! Of course, the Frist family, Bill Frist included, pretended they knew nothing about this fraud. They benefitted from it, however. This is the man who is now to be Bush's "point-man" in the Senate for selling Medicare "reform." When Bush and Frist talk about Medicare "reform," what they mean is turning Medicare over to the for profit medical care industry – in other words, making it much easier for hospital chains like HCA and the big pharmaceutical companies to get even wealthier off the sickness of elderly people.