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News: Miscellaneous
Right after I posted an article on nursing homes, I got an email from an advocate friend telling me to watch CBS Evening News the next night. Is my story ancient history, or relevant now with Iraq and elections front and center?
CBS evening news tonight (Friday 02/13/04) featured HCR ManorCare on their "Eye On America" segment. Here is one quote from the CBS News website:

"Bruce Lemoine's family was told he would be cared for at a Manorcare, but he died from exposure after he was left outside, strapped in his wheelchair in near 100-degree heat."

Most of the segment centered on another victim who almost lost his legs after entering an HCR ManorCare facility that he called "filthy". "I looked down at my left leg and it was totally covered with ants," says Rankin. "I mean, thousands of ants on my leg."

Here is a link to the CBS website page on the story:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/02/13/eveningnews/main600289.shtml

I spoke of HCR ManorCare in testimony to a US Senate Subcommittee that I posted on this site

http://kcindymedia.org/newswire/display/1267/index.php

We were fortunate to be able to remove my father from HCR ManorCare's tender mercies before he suffered as those mentioned on the CBS story did, and subsequently I wrote Paul Ormond, ManorCare CEO, complaining and demanding a refund. This pesky little problem was turned over to a vice president who called me at home and told me about their legal department and I inferred from that that I might be sued if I didn't stop telling people about my experience with his company. I'm including images of three letters that he sent me. The first one apologizes for an "unpleasant experience" in their facility and refers to a plan to resolve it that involved, among other things, my signing a release form in return for their knocking a couple of overcharges off of their bill. The second one from the vice president, after I had again written the CEO declining to sign a release and demanding a complete refund, says that "all monies owed to you have now been refunded" but says something about a prior baloney offer previously related to me on the phone still being on the table if I will sign a release, and mentions "corrections that led to additional refunds" that were never received until after the third letter. The third letter, dated nine days after the second, shows a sudden change of heart: "contrary to my last letter...I will be approving a refund of ALL (emphasis added) monies paid to you by our Manor Care center...", and indeed the refund eventually came through.


Click on image for a larger version


Now this may all seem like just ancient personal history and that with war and elections coming up there are more important things to worry about than nursing homes, and there is certainly some truth in that.

But-
As the CBS piece shows, and as I could furnish many other examples of, this sort of problem continues in a big way and many more people have suffered and will suffer. And while my personal incident happened before Dubya became president, I would mention that the HCR board member and former Medicare Payment Advisory Commission head mentioned in my Senate testimony, Gail Wilensky, was George Dubya Bush's health care advisor in the campaign leading up to his Selection and still shows up as an expert talking head on healthcare issues on NPR and PBS. Dubya did not invent campaign corruption and the revolving door and the nursing home holocaust, but just like everything else he has touched, he has taken it all to an entirely new level, and this ancient history is more evidence that Bush must not have a second term. Failure on that score is not an option. The big national nursing home chain situation is the same as the Enron and Worldcom corruption and is part of the same Bush healthcare plan that put out a Medicare bill that puts millions more tax dollars in the pockets of pharmaceutical and for-profit hospital CEO's, the same plan that had a for-profit hospital lobbyist at the head of CMS, the government body that hands out billions of Medicare and Medicaid dollars out to these profiteers, and the same healthcare plan that engineered a coup to replace one bigoted leader of the U.S. Senate with a superficially prettier one, one Senator Frist, who happens to be in the family that started and owns the country's largest for-profit hospital chain, Medicare fraudster HCA, which recently was allowed to buy Kansas City's supposedly non-profit Health Midwest hospitals.

Click on image for a larger version

Click on image for a larger version
See also:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/02/13/eveningnews/main600289.shtml
http://kcindymedia.org/newswire/display/1267/index.php


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