Dead at 17 – courtesy of CIGNA healthcare
Wendell Potter says he is finished defending the insurance industry, which he says is “beholden to Wall Street.”
At a hearing last week before the Senate Commerce Committee, the former vice president of corporate communications at the insurance giant Cigna testified, “I know from personal experience that members of Congress and the public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the insurance industry…”
In his testimony and during an interview with CNN, Potter described how underwriters at his former company would drive small businesses with expensive insurance claims to dump their Cigna policies. Industry executives refer to the practice as “purging,” Potter said.
“When that business comes up for renewal, the underwriters jack the rates up so much, the employer has no choice but to drop insurance,” Potter said…
Now a senior fellow on health care for the nonpartisan watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, Potter writes a blog on health care reform. In particular, he is keeping an eye on efforts to defeat legislation that would give Americans the option of joining a government health care plan, something he now supports.
He says he witnessed how the insurance industry torpedoed health care reform efforts during the Clinton administration.
“They conduct what I call duplicitous PR campaigns. They’ll say what people want to hear,” Potter says. “It’s how they operate. You cannot trust these guys.”
Potter is also taking aim at some of the TV commercials aired by groups opposed to changes. One such ad caught Potter’s eye. Run by the conservative organization Patients United Now, the ad says that “now, Washington wants to bring Canadian-style health care to the U.S.”
“Sometimes you’ll see misleading information. And sometimes you’ll see outright lies, like that [ad] is,” Potter said, referring to the spot…
Potter notes that the leading proposals for health care in Congress do not seek to set up Canadian-style health care in the United States. He says claims that overhauling the system would lead to “rationing” of care are missing his point.
“What we have is rationing by corporate executives who are beholden to Wall Street. And it happens all the time,” Potter said.
I’m not certain which is worse. My gullible fellow-citizens who eat up right-wing lies fed to them as TV commercials – or the fracking politicians who enjoy service akin to Canadian-style health insurance which we pay for – who know better and still repeat the lies on behalf of insurance company lobbyists.
I didn’t realize Canada was center of the subversion of everything held dear by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. More power to ’em!