Friday, August 07, 2009

Rep. Mike Conaway's Odessa Open House on For-Profit Health Care

If there is one health care open house where regular citizens should raise Cain, this is it. Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) serves a district with a high percentage of uninsured workers. The region had less than 5% unemployment and over 25% without health insurance. Given the 2008 financial implosion and subsequent layoffs, those numbers are likely much higher.

Health care has long been a hot topic. The San Angelo public excoriated Conaway at his open house two years ago. The main beef was Veterans health care. Mike promised to do better, but little has been seen of him since that dicey public meeting. MyWestTexas reported on his upcoming town hall session on health care:

Congressman Mike Conaway will hold a healthcare legislation town hall meeting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 11) at East Campus Auditorium of the Odessa Regional Medical center, 515 N. Adams.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by Aug. 10 by calling 582-8399 or contacting
Odessa Regional Medical Center is part of a for-profit hospital chain. Iasis Healthcare has 15 acute care hospitals and a health plan. The company is owned by several private equity underwriters (PEU's). Texas Pacific Group holds 74% of Iasis. SEC filings show:

David Bonderman, James G. Coulter and William S. Price, III are directors, executive officers and the sole shareholders of TPG Advisors III, Inc. and TPG Advisors IV, Inc. TPG Advisors III, Inc. and TPG Advisors IV, Inc. through their ownership of TPG, which owns a controlling interest in IASIS Investment, may be deemed to beneficially own all of the shares of preferred stock and common stock owned by IASIS Investment.

David Bonderman
gave over $900,000 to mostly Democratic political groups according to Open Secrets. A few Republicans, like Eric Cantor (R-VA), made his list. Rest assured for-profit health care has most moderate Democrats and Republicans in their pocket.

Mike Conaway's selection of an Odessa Iasis facility speaks volumes about his health care positions. I don't expect our CPA representative to mention Iasis' $75 million in annual interest expense or the nearly $500 million in debt coming due in 3-5 years. Surely, Mike won't mention the $5 million management fee the PEU shell charges the company or their stellar third quarter results.

Net revenue--up 13%
Adjusted EBDITA of nearly $79 million--up 13.3%
Net earnings of almost $21 million--up 40%

Conaway will remain AWOL on health care, pulling for for-profiteers while his constituents suffer. The GOP has bipartisan support from Corporatist members of the Blue team. Who knew they could agree on anything?

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