Posted by: Donna
Senate candidate Jeff Flake, who went on a survivalist vacation in 2009 to demonstrate to everyone what a manly man he is (with survival-ly beefcake photos he took of himself to prove it), seems to have a serious case of bio envy of his opponent, Dr. Richard Carmona. Carmona has a c.v. that includes combat veteran, physician, emergency responder, Pima County Deputy Sheriff, and serving as US Surgeon general. Flake’s accomplishments before entering Congress were basically working at the Goldwater Institute and at some right wing outfit called Foundation for Democracy in Namibia. Oh, and he testified in opposition to imposing sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid regime while a grad student in the 80s. Really, it’s understandable if Flake feels inadequate to Carmona, but Flake chose his cushy career path in fake right wing advocacy over actual public service so he has no one to blame but himself for it.
And true to the core of his character, Flake is running attack ads about Carmona in which voters are supposed to reject Carmona because too much money was spent on poor people’s health care while he was running the county hospital in the 90s.
Hat tip to Lisa Hoffman and Curtis Dutiel for posting the debunking of this nonsense on Facebook.
FACT CHECK FLAKE
FLAKED ISSUE: Congressman Flake’s campaign ad titled “What’s Missing from Richard Carmona’s Bio?”
FLAKED AD CLAIM: “What Carmona’s bio doesn’t say is that while he ran the Pima County Health System their debt ran up to $46 million, a jump of 28% in one year. Carmona was forced to resign. Rich Carmona. Another Obama big spender.”
…Rich Carmona was director of Kino Community Hospital, the Pima County public hospital responsible for providing indigent care in a low-income area and to many individuals without health insurance.
– What Congressman Flake does not tell you is that is that Kino was required by law to cover all patients — including those without the ability to pay.
–What Congressman Flake does not tell you is that this issue came up during Dr. Carmona’s Senate confirmation process to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, after being nominated by President George W. Bush – or that Rich went on to receive a unanimous confirmation.
–What Congressman Flake does not tell you is that Dr. Carmona repeatedly pushed the Pima County Board of Supervisors to enact policies to reduce cost throughout the health system. Following his departure, the hospital continued to lose money and the board eventually adopted several of Dr. Carmona’s recommendations.
THE FACTS [Sourced]:
***The Pima County Health System is required by law to cover all patients – including those without the ability to pay. Kino was the “only safety net for patients who can’t afford health care but aren’t eligible for state help,” and is also responsible for providing “indigent care for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.” [Arizona Daily Star, July 8, 1999]
***Carmona Actually Pushed for Changes to Health System. Carmona told the Pima County Board of Supervisors that as the federal and state dollars for the uninsured decrease, more responsibility will fall to the county. “Ultimately, someone has to accept responsibility for these people.” [Tucson Citizen, September 30, 1996]
***County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry “blamed the AHCCCS cap for much of the hospital’s $40 million deficit.” AHCCCS at one time accounted for “more than $21 million a year in revenue to the county.” In 1998, it returned only $13 million. [Tucson Citizen, June 14th, 1999]
***Mike Rollins, former chairman of the hospital board said, “The problems existed before [Carmona] entered the system.” [LA Times, March 29, 2002]
***Republican county supervisor Mike Boyd said Carmona was “a scapegoat for the woefully inadequate leadership by the board and the health care commission. The board didn’t have the guts to make the budget decisions they should have made so the want to fire the director instead.” [Arizona Daily Star, July 10, 1999]
***Republican county supervisor Ray Carroll added, “He inherited a system that was leaking for years,” calling Carmona a messenger who was punished for delivering an unpopular message. “He was telling the board things some members didn’t want to hear. I think he was treated very badly.” Carroll went on to say that Carmona “will make a great surgeon general.” [Tucson Citizen, March 28, 2002]
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