Florida Governor Rick Scott and state Republicans eliminated children’s health standards that were related to heart surgery, after a corporate hospital chain failing to meet them bribed the state GOP and governor’s office with $200,000 in donations.
Officials from the Department of Health said that the standards were swept away because state legislators chose not to authorize them. The standards have been in place for 40 years and were working well, right up until Republicans got their hands on them.
It’s evil enough that anyone would scrap health standards protecting children’s heart surgery, but to do it for $200,000 – it’s amazing how cheaply “pro-life” Republicans value life.
The issue centers around Tenet Healthcare, which contributed $100,000 over 2 years to Governor Rick Scott, and $100,000 to the state GOP during the same time frame.
The rules for giving care to children with heart conditions were junked by Republicans less than 3 months after a report by CNN found that St. Mary’s Medical Center had a 12.5 percent death rate for open-heart surgeries on children and babies from 2011 to 2013. The Society for Thoracic Surgeons has found that the national death rate in those procedures is 3.3 percent after an extensive study. Hospital corporate representatives gave no comment and refused to an interview with CNN.
Jeffrey Jacobs, a Johns Hopkins surgery professor, recommended that St. Marys cease performing surgeries on children younger than 6 months during a state-mandated review in 2014. The hospital ignored the suggestion and carried on until August of that year when it closed its pediatric heart surgery program and the CEO resigned.
A Judge ruled that parents who opposed the rule removal couldn’t prove it would hurt the quality of hospital care for children, also commenting that it was “personally insulting” to the professionals who provided the healthcare services.
The data was plain. The hospital had a death rate that was nearly 400 percent higher than the national average. How else are regular citizens supposed to “prove” there is a problem if not by the dead bodies of their children and associated statistics?
featured image via stopthedenial.com