Fox, Inquirer allow Santorum to attack health care reform without disclosing he works for health care industry

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Fox News and the Philadelphia Inquirer have repeatedly allowed former Sen.-turned pundit Rick Santorum to discuss health care without disclosing* that he serves on the board of directors for Universal Health Services, a Fortune 500 health care company headed by Republican and public option opponent Alan B. Miller.

In April 2007, UHS appointed Santorum to its board of directors. UHS describes itself as one of the "the nation's largest and most respected healthcare management companies, operating through its subsidiaries, acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers." In announcing the move, CEO Alan Miller said that Santorum "has a long record of accomplishment and leadership and will provide valuable advice to the board."

Miller is an active donor and participant in GOP causes. He is listed on the board of directors for the Republican Jewish Coalition, and in the past two years has contributed $2,300 to John McCain's presidential campaign, $1,000 to the McCain-Palin victory fund, and a total of $2,000 to the Republican National Committee.

Modern Healthcare reported in May 2007 that Miller "donated more than $5,300 to Santorum's campaigns between 1999 and 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Universal Health Services Employees' Good Government Fund donated $1,000 to Santorum's campaign during the 2000 election cycle, according to the center's Web site." In October 2006, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that Miller hosted "a crab-legs-and-white-wine fundraiser" for Santorum with President George H.W. Bush at Miller's Gladwyne mansion.

Miller regularly argues against the public option in the media, with appearances on CNN, Fox Business, Hannity (10/22/09) and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, among others. Miller recently appeared on the February 3 edition of Fox Business Network's Cavuto, where he was introduced by Neil Cavuto as hoping a "delay in health care will derail health care reform." Miller remarked that he believed health care reform "is dead," adding, I think we have to thank the voters of Massachusetts. I would like to see some improvements made. I think we have a great system. I would have hated to see it thrown out or a public option, which would become a government program. I was very much opposed to that happening."

Since January 1, Fox News contributor and "political analyst" Santorum has appeared on Fox News at least 13 times to discuss health care reform**. On February 9, Santorum called Democratic health care reform "a government takeover of the health care system" which "does not try to improve the current system." Santorum continued:

SANTORUM: Republicans and most Americans think that the current system is a good system that needs to be repaired and improved upon. That's not the basis of the bill that's before the House and the Senate right now.

Santorum is also a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he regularly writes about health care reform. Santorum's most recent column called the Senate health care bill "deeply flawed" and advocated starting "anew with a clean slate." In 2008, Santorum wrote that Obama supports "one-size-fits-all health-care policies that have been a disaster for patients and medical industries in Canada. Good-bye, American capitalism; hello, European-style socialism." Like Fox News, the Inquirer does not disclose that Santorum works for a major health care company.

* A search of "Santorum AND Universal Health Services OR UHS" in Nexis under transcripts for Fox News in the past 3 years returned no results. A review of Santorum's 2010 appearances on America's Newsroom, Fox & Friends, and America's News HQ -- which are listed below and not archived in Nexis -- returned no instances of disclosure.

** On the Record (January 6, January 26, January 29, February 9, February 24, March 3, March 8), Hannity (January 5, January 18), America's Newsroom (February 23, March 8), Fox & Friends (February 27), America's News HQ (February 21).

Previously/Related:

Fox allows Tantaros to attack health care without disclosing ties

Fox News again allows Donatelli to attack health care bill without disclosing his conflict of interest

The Nation: The Media-Lobbying Complex

Posted In
Health Care
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Rick Santorum
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