Comment on the Frist timeline HERE.


SEPTEMBER 13 — FRIST LEADING GOP HEALTH CARE AGENDA, MAINTAINS THAT HCA STOCK DOES NOT CREATE CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Frist’s key role this year in blocking President Clinton’s “patients’ bill of rights” proposal has brought new questions from Democrats and even some Republicans about whether the senator has a conflict of interest in health policy issue”¦[Frist] acknowledges, however, he is aware that the money remains invested in Columbia/HCA, and he has reported the holdings and the income they produce in annual Senate financial disclosure reports”¦Frist rejects suggestions that he has any conflict of interest..[h]is background and connections, he says, are an asset when Congress deals with health care. [USA Today, 9/13/1999]


DECEMBER — FRIST’S HOLDINGS IN HCA VALUED BETWEEN $5 MILLION AND $25 MILLION: “The value of HCA stock in Frist’s trusts at the end of 2000 was between $5 million and $25 million, according to a disclosure he filed with the Senate ethics committee when he established the accounts.” [Bloomberg, 9/23/05]


MAY 16 — TRUSTEE TELLS FRIST HE PURCHASED $750K TO $1.5 MILLION IN HCA STOCK: “On May 16, 2002, Scobey advised Frist that four investments were contributed to a Frist blind trust, including HCA stock valued at $500,000 to $1 million. A second letter the same day mentions the same four investments going into a different trust, but with different valuations, including HCA stock valued at $250,000 to $500,000.” [BusinessWeek, 9/24/05]



EARLY JANUARY — TRUSTEE TELLS FRIST 15K-50K OF HCA STOCK HAS BEEN CONTRIBUTED TO TRUST: “Just two weeks before those [January 2003] comments, the trustee of the senator’s trust, M. Kirk Scobey Jr., wrote to Frist that HCA stock was contributed to the trust. It was valued at $15,000 and $50,000.” [BusinessWeek, 9/24/05]

LATE JANUARY — FRIST SAYS IT IS “ILLEGAL” FOR HIM TO KNOW THE COMPOSITION OF HIS BLIND TRUST: “Well, I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust. So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock”¦I have no control. It is illegal right now for me to know what the composition of those trusts are. So I have no idea.” [BusinessWeek, 9/24/05]

FRIST CHAMPIONS MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL THAT DIRECTLY BENEFITS HCA, REFUSES TO SELL HCA STOCK: “Although he himself is said to have put his large interest in HCA into a blind trust (with the approval of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics), it still remains true that whatever is good for HCA is good for Bill Frist. And it is undeniable that Medicare policies affect the fortunes of the company. Yet Frist has become an important voice on health policy in the Senate, and now that he is majority leader, his influence will grow.” [American Prospect, 2/1/03]


APRIL — FRIST LEADS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE REFORM EFFORTS; REFUSES TO SELL HCA STOCK AFTER CONSUMER GROUP FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT: “A California-based consumer group asked a Senate panel Tuesday to bar Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from participating in the current debate over medical malpractice reform because of his ties to the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said HCA, Inc., the Nashville-based hospital chain founded by Frist’s father and older brother, and its malpractice insurance subsidiary would benefit financially from Frist-backed legislation to limit liability…” [Gannett, 4/06/04]


JUNE 10–6 HCA INSIDERS COMPLETE 10-DAY, $18.6 MILLION STOCK SALE: “From June 1 to June 10, six insiders sold a total of 341,300 shares valued at $18.6 million, according to Thompson Financial.” [WSJ, 9/24/05]

JUNE 13 — FRIST TELLS TRUSTEE TO SELL ALL HIS SHARES OF HCA: “According to Frist’s office, the senator decided to sell all his HCA stock — held in blind trusts managed by two companies for him, his wife and his children — on June 13.” This is only permitted under Senate rules if Frist had assumed (or was going to assume) new “duties.’ [Washington Post, 9/24/05; Senate Ethics Manual, page 339]

JUNE 22 — HCA HITS 52-WEEK HIGH OF $58.40:HCA stock had increased 47% in the previous year. [Yahoo Finance; Bloomberg, 9/23/05]


JULY 13 — HCA WARNS OF WEAKENING EARNINGS; STOCK LOSES 9% OF VALUE: “[T]he stock’s price dropped 9 percent in a single day because of a warning from the company about weakening earnings.” The stock was down 15% from the June 22 high. [Washington Post, 9/24/05; Yahoo Finance; Motley Fool]

SEPTEMBER 20 — FRIST CLAIMS HE SOLD THE SHARES TO “AVOID ANY APPEARANCE OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST”: Amy Call, Sen. Frist’s spokeswoman said, “To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest Senator Frist went beyond what ethics requires and sold the stock.” [AP, 9/20/05]


SEPTEMBER 23 — HCA REVEALS IT HAS SUBPEONED BY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REGARDING FRIST STOCK SALE: “Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s sale of stock in HCA at a time when insiders at the hospital operating company were also selling off shares.” [AP, 9/23/05]