[Hpn] GW Bush Cash Linked To Death Hospitals.htm

Thomas Cagle nh-adapt@juno.com
Mon, 18 Dec 2000 08:23:52 -0500

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From: Ric Burger <ricburger@YAHOO.COM>
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             Published on Sunday, December 17, 2000 in
the Observer of London
             GW Bush Cash Linked To Death Hospitals
             by Ed Vulliamy in New York

             America's President-elect, George W.
Bush, held an investment in a company that leased a
chain of psychiatric
             hospitals where patients died and the
conditions were so appalling that many were shut down,
The Observer
             reveals today.

             The hospital chain - Charter Behavioral
Health Systems - was exposed by a CBS television
documentary last year
             after the deaths were reported. CBS had
filmed widespread malpractices, acknowledged by
             regulators. This led to a criminal
investigation of Charter, which continues.

             What was not revealed was the fact that
Charter's hospitals were leased to the company by a
property trust,
             Crescent, in which Bush purchased shares
in 1994.

             The Charter connection leads to the heart
of Bush's business network in Texas. Crescent was
founded by his
             closest business partner and the man who
made him rich: genius investor and Texas bil lionaire
Richard Rainwater.
             Rainwater was the major investor with
whom Bush bought into the Texas Rangers baseball team
in 1989 during
             his father's presidency. The investment
was the source of Bush's biggest windfall and his folk
hero status in Texas.
             He sold the baseball stock for a profit
of $14.9 million, and Rainwater became part of the
Bush circle.

             Bush sold his shares in Crescent at a
profit of $114,000 in 1988, after they had been put
into a blind trust
             following his election to the
governorship of Texas in 1994.

             The Charter hospital scandal connects
Bush's Crescent investment to the squalid story of its
tenant's hospitals,
             and focuses attention on policies to
which the Bush administration in Texas has been
committed - self-regulation in
             private health care, the environment,
energy and guns .

             There was no reason why, or suggestion
that, either Bush or Rainwater knew what was happening
inside Charter's
             hospitals. Charter filed for bankruptcy
earlier this year.

             During the election hiatus, Bush's
Vice-President-elect, Dick Cheney, committed the
upcoming administration to
             forging ahead with its proposals for
reducing government's role in health care.

             Rainwater's office referred The Observer'
s calls to Crescent, where a spokeswoman, Sandra
Porter, said Charter
             was a tenant and separate from the
property company, as was Crescent Operating.

             Crescent was 'not calling the shots' in
Charter hospitals, but acting only as landlord.
Crescent, she said, 'works in
             partnership with people that we believe
to be experts in what they are doing' .

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2000

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