Amid the stench of lobbyist and insurance company lies swirling around Washington, D.C., a refreshing breath of fresh air blew through the Senate Commerce Committee last week. His name is Wendell Potter (pictured) and he is a former vice-president of insurance giant Cigna. He yestified before the committee and actually told the truth about the health insurance industry.
Mr. Potter is trying set things right after spending years working in the duplicitous health insurance industry, and he's doing that by exposing their lies and outrageous actions. He quit the industry after Cigna refused to cover an expensive liver transplant for a 17 year-old victim of leukemia. Cigna changed its mind after the case became public, but it was too late and the girl died only hours after they approved her surgery.
Potter told the committee, "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."
He described to the committee how the insurance companies went about "purging" small businesses who had some expensive medical claims. He 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."
The insurance companies have no interest in the health of sick people. Paying claims for sick people cuts into their exorbitant profits. They dump these people from their rolls and replace them with healthy people -- people who pay premiums, but do not make claims. As Potter says, the insurance companies are "beholden to Wall Street" -- not their customers.
Potter also talked about the lies told by lobbyists and insurance companies to try and defeat health care reform. He says, "They conduct what I call duplicitous PR campaigns. They'll say what people want to hear. It's how they operate. You cannot trust these guys."
He referred to an ad that said Congress was trying to impose a "Canadian-style program", and said, "Sometimes you'll see misleading information. And sometimes you'll see outright lies, like that [ad] is."
And he talked about the "rationing" lie. The insurance companies want us to believe that a public insurance option would result in the rationing of medical care, when as Potter says, "What we have is rationing by corporate executives who are beholden to Wall Street. And it happens all the time."
Thank goodness for people like Wendell Potter, who are willing to tell the truth about the private insurance companies. Personally, I don't want an insurance company employee deciding what medical care I can have (when the size of his/her bonus depends on how many claims are rejected). I want a doctor making that decision, and that's why I'm in favor of public health insurance.
Don't fall for the company lies! Write or call your senator and tell him/her to vote for a public health insurance option.Link to original post