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Rick Scott, candidate for Florida governor

Rick Scott, the chairman of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, launched his campaign for Florida governor on Tuesday; Ben Smith has the details.

The last we heard from Scott, he was declaring victory in his campaign against health care reform -- it seemed a bit preliminary to me, but CPR's big goal was preventing the public option, and that effort succeeded.

I spoke to Scott one year ago about his biggest liability -- a $1.7 billion fraud settlement against his one-time health care company, Columbia/HCA.

"Go back and look at Columbia," said Scott. "Look at all the objective measures. Go look at joint commission, accommodation, at accreditation. If you look at the top 100 hospitals, we started with less than 7 percent of them. My last year, we had 27 percent of those hospitals. If you look at my management team, all of my management team went on and ran hospital companies."

"People can still say," I said, "Look, this was the guy who resigned in the biggest fraud settlement in American history.'"

"But, you know, we were the biggest company," said Scott. "If you go back and look at the hospital industry, and the whole health care industry since the mid-1990s, it was basically constantly going through investigations. Great institutions, like ours, paid fines. It was too bad."

By David Weigel  |  April 13, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Health Care  
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