CIGNA’s Wendell Potter on the state of American healthcare

If you haven’t yet watched Bill Moyers with CIGNA Healthcare’s former head of corporate communications, Wendell Potter, I’d suggest you take a few minutes and watch it.

Here, by way of background, is a quote from Potter as he recently testified before the Senate Commerce Committee:

The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable, publicly accountable health care option as, quote, “government-run health care.” What we have today, Mr. Chairman, is Wall Street-run health care that has proven itself an untrustworthy partner to its customers, to the doctors and hospitals who deliver care and to the state and federal governments that attempt to regulate it.

And I don’t know if it would qualify as a “fear tactic,” but seniors are being told that under “Obamacare,” they’ll be euthanized.

Speaking of Obamacare, I read just read that, during a recent high-level Republican strategy meeting, it was decided that that’s what they’d begin calling the President’s plan. This was the one big thing they came away from their strategy summit with. They didn’t come up with a better way to provide healthcare to the uninsured, but they came up with a frame that they think will hurt the President’s chances of bringing about meaningful reform. I suppose it may work, but, if I were the Republicans, I’d think twice before tying this legislation so closely to the President. Let’s say it does pass, and people who never had access to healthcare before, now have it – do you think they’re going to be more likely, or less likely, to reelect the man whom they feel made it all possible?

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  1. Me
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I think if your kids don’t like you, and you are old, all options should be on the table.

  2. Carol Summers
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I heard that Obama is planning to make the elderly eat aborted babies and it sickens me. I do not know how our great nation has come to this.

  3. Meta
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    See also this piece Olbermann did on the corporations funding the attack on Obamacare:

  4. Ryan
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Democracy Now had Wendell Potter on recently, too. Here’s a link:

  5. ytown
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Are you willing to lose the private healthcare you get from your employer Mark?

    Listen to Obama’s own words:

  6. Oliva
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Stoking fears that we could lose private health care from our employers isn’t a solution to a truly unworkable system. And fear is a terrible advisor.

    Right now, as I type, the insurance companies are nickle and diming with a vengeance, not paying for basic care, upping what we pay in to our EMPLOYER PROVIDED care. And too many health care providers seem wholly unconcerned about what their patients are getting stuck with.

    If the expensive lab connected to the doctor’s office charges ten times the cost of blood work and the insurance company refuses to pay, knowing it’s being overcharged, then who gets stuck? The patient. The doctor ordering the lab work shrugs and says, “Get insurance to pay.” As if one can tell the insurers what to do. But why not have the doctor acknowledge what’s going on and insist the lab charge reasonable prices for the most care?

    At the moment the two systems, insurers and providers, keep each other afloat in costly, dysfunctional ways, to our detriment.

  7. kjc
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Agreed, Oliva.

    Waxman was on Democracy Now! this morning btw. He said we shouldn’t demonize the insurance companies—that it’s not fair. Amy’s probably still choking on that one. I know I am.

  8. Me
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Aborted babies are really rather tasty, Carol, and nutritious. When I get old, I hope to have a dependable supply of fetus meat. It sure beats popping Geritol and drinking Ensure.

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