Ex-CEO, Swift-Boaters Lead Attack on Health Reform

Rick Scott ties Democrats' plans to Canadian, British systems
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 11, 2009 7:48 AM CDT
President-elect Barack Obama holds a news conference on the future of health care, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – As leading Democrats prepare for a health care overhaul, the loudest opposition isn’t coming from GOP leaders—it’s coming from investor and former hospital CEO Rick Scott, with the help of the team that “Swift-boated” John Kerry, the Washington Post reports. Scott is spending $5 million of his own and $15 million from supporters on an ad campaign inspired by the "Harry and Louise" ads that helped kill health care reform in the Clinton administration.

The ads that began running last week prompt fears that reform could lead to long waits for poorer care in a bureaucratic system. Scott says he's not necessarily against Obama's plan, but wants to prompt dialog on "what will happen if we go down this path." Reform advocates are returning fire with ads reminding people that Scott was ousted as CEO of a health care firm that pleaded guilty to overbilling government health plans. "He and his insurance-company friends make millions from the broken system we have now," charges the ad.