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Confirming a prior Mother Jones report (Sept./Oct. 1992), a fugitive living in Spain told ABC’s “20/20” that Jeb Bush made a crucial call to Washington when his HMO needed help.

Miguel Recarey’s International Medical Centers faced pressure in 1985 to comply with the “50-50” rule, which prohibits certain HMOs from having more than half of its customers on Medicare. According to Recarey, the middle son of then-Vice President Bush called Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler (meanwhile, IMC paid Bush’s company a $75,000 “real-estate consultant” fee). Former HHS chief of staff McClain Haddow says Bush’s call gave IMC a waiver to the 50-50 rule, and Recarey allegedly bilked $200 million in Medicare funds while leaving 150,000 seniors without coverage. Jeb Bush, the GOP loser in Florida’s 1994 governor’s race, denies calling Heckler.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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