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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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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