Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was given considerable information about his stake in his family's hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings.A Frist spokesman tried his best to pull the Senator’s feet out of the fire with this spin:
… In January 2003, after winning election as majority leader, Frist was asked on CNBC whether his HCA holdings made it difficult for him to push for changes in Medicare, a federal health program for seniors that added to the hospital company's revenue.
"I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust," Frist replied. "So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock." He added that the trust was "totally blind. I have no control."
Two weeks before that interview, M. Kirk Scobey Jr., a Frist trustee, informed the senator in writing that one of his trusts had received HCA stock valued at between $15,000 and $50,000.
"He [Frist] could have been more exact in his comments," said Bob Stevenson, spokesman for Frist.It’s hard to imagine Frist being any more exact or precise. The senate Majority Leader did not describe his trust as merely “blind” — he called it “totally blind.” It doesn’t get more exact than words like total or totally. And Frist said he was not aware that he owned any HCA stock when, only two weeks before, he had been informed of the estimated value of HCA stock within his trust.