17 January 2016

Can We Give Florida Back to Spain?

In response to donations from sub-par hospitals to the state Republican Party, Florida has abandoned surgical standards for hospitals:
Children’s heart doctors in Florida are reeling from a recent decision by the state to drop surgical standards for pediatric open heart surgery, CNN reports. To add insult to injury, doctors and medical experts suspect that the decision was purely political.

The decision follows a 2014 medical review and a June 2015 report by CNN, which found that one particular medical facility, St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, had an abysmal track record for pediatric open-heart surgery—a death rate more than three times the national average. And the two reports found that the facility was failing to meet the now-repealed standards, which include proficiency in performing the surgeries themselves.

The St. Mary’s facility is run by Tenet Healthcare, which coincidentally donated $200,000 to the state’s republicans between 2013 and 2014, including $100,000 to Republican Governor Rick Scott’s political action committee. Those donations were the highest of any Tenet gave to political groups in other states.

A month after CNN’s report, the state announced that it would repeal the standards for children’s heart surgery. Florida’s health department explained the move by saying that the standards were never properly approved by the legislature, but it failed to explain to reporters why legislative approval was not sought upon realizing the lapse.
It appears that Florida is in a competition with Texas for most repulsively corrupt politics in the United States.


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