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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jeb Bush In SW Ohio Campaigning for Kasich: Hey, Isn't Bush On The Board Of Giant Hospital Chain?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The chain's CEO has been hailing Washington's health care reform efforts as "a step in the right direction." Yes, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sits on the board of directors of Tenet HealthCare, a multi-billion corporation that owns and operates about 50 for-profit hospitals nationwide. The company's CEO, Trevor Fetter, supports federal healthcare reform, particularly the measure known as America's Healthy Future's Act. It's largely the Senate version. Bush, of course, says publicly that he does not support anything that is going through the Democratically controlled Congress. He's hewing to the Republican Party line while serving on the board of a corporation that has been very public in stating that health care reform would benefit both its business model and customers.

Last October, Tenet CEO Fetter was on the PBS business show Nightly Business Report and said the Senate legislation was a positive movement on the health care reform front:

"It certainly is a step in the right direction. As you know, hospitals across America are the places where the uninsured are treated, generally in our emergency rooms. Even people with insurance have a hard time paying for the services that we offer them. So it is certainly a step in the right direction to cover more Americans that are covered today. We'd just like to see more covered under this legislation."

Fetter is talking about Democratic legislation. The Republicans took a hike. Bush is decamped with his party. This morning, Bush is in downtown Cincinnati for a invitation-only breakfast reception at the private Queen City Club. Then he joins GOP candidate for governor John Kasich at a forum in suburban Mason, then its back to the Queen City Club for a Kasich fundraiser.

None of the money being raised today is going to help the uninsured. Is there not irony in the fact that Bush collects a director's fee from a large corporation that supports healthcare reform? He takes the money, but disparages the reform measures his company sees as beneficial.

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