Dr. Bill Frist won a seat U.S. Senate seat from Tennesseee in 1994 by portraying himself as a compassionate physician. Once in office though, Senator Frist became an advocate for big medicine opposing legislation that would allow patients to sue HMO's and guarantee patient access to medical specialists. Many of Frist's original supporters were disappointed. A Washington Post article from October 4, 1999 quoted a doctor who supported Frist's first Senatorial campaign. Dr. Charles Handorf, a pathologist, was quoted as saying, "Dr. Frist has been a huge disappointment. We thought we knew what he was about. But it looks like he's stepped out of the tradition of patient advocate and become a pure politician." Despite the disenchantment of past supporters, Frist's pro-big business voting record won him many friends among the corporate lobbyists who welcomed his election as Republican Senate Majority Leader in 2002.
Frist has long insisted when asked about possible conflicts of interest with his "family" company that his HCA holdings were in a blind trust. Now Frist has been caught in a lie as it turns out that he did have detailed personal knowledge of the contents of the "blind" trust. Reuters reported that the SEC has subpoenaed Frist's records for a insider trading investigation. Frist recently dumped his shares in HCA, founded by his father and brother, just before lower company profit forecasts brought down the value of shares. The good doctor now may have the opportunity to use his medical skills in the federal prison clinic. At the very least, Frist should have the decency to step down as leader of his party although he does fit the ethical standards of corporate Republicanism very well. Under the circumstances, Frist can hardly represent the interests of his Tennessee constituents and it would be appropriate for him to surrender the U.S. Senate seat along with a public apology. In addition, to Frist's long-standing deception as his relationship with HCA, it should be noted that this "family" business has engaged in a pattern of fraudulent conduct. For documentation about HCA's history which includes Medicare and Medicaid fraud, check out this link http://tinyurl.com/bdbk7 and read about the unethical and criminal conduct of the Frist "family" business.