Check out this 2009 clip from Bill Moyer’s Journal in which former CIGNA vice president and spin-guru Wendell Potter tells of his “road to Damascus” moment and the blood on his own hands, as well as the health insurance industry’s driving concern – “what they want is to enhance their profits, enhance shareholder value”.
Shocker – right? However, the last few minutes of the interview, during which Potter predicts the industry’s plans to blunt reform, are prophetic.
The [health insurance industry’s] strategy is, as it was in 1993-94, to conduct this charm offensive on the surface but behind the scenes to use front groups and third-party advocates and ideological allies and those on Capital Hill who are aligned with them philosophically to do the dirty work, to demean and scare people about a government-run plan, to try to make people not even remember that their Medicare program is a government-run plan that is operated a lot more efficiently, and also the people who are enrolled in the Medicare plan like it better. The satisfaction ratings are higher in our Medicare program, a government-run program, than in private insurance, but they don’t want you to know that or remember that and they want to scare you into thinking that, through the anecdotes they tell you, that any government-run system – particularly those in Canada, the UK and France – that the people are very unhappy and that these people will have to wait in long lines to get care or wait a long time to get care.
Potter’s new book, Deadly Spin, hit shelves this month. Expect to see him amid TV’s talking heads in coming weeks.
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