WENDELL POTTER IS MAKING SENSE…. I wish Wendell Potter was a household name right now. His message and perspective is arguably as important as any in the country. Potter first came to public attention about a month ago, when he sat down with PBS’s Bill Moyers. We learned that he’s a former executive at a major health insurance company, who’s become a whistleblower, explaining the way the industry “put profits before patients” and is doing everything possible to block health care reform now.
Slowly but surely, he’s gaining more prominence. Last night, he spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who almost seemed surprised by what he heard.
“The way it works is that the [insurance] industry will hire big PR firms that create these front groups that have names that have no association with the insurance industry,” Potter said.” And it is these front groups that do the things that you’re seeing right now that try to destroy health care reform by using terms like ‘government takeover’ of the health care system. Or we’re heading down toward a ‘slippery slope toward socialism.’ Or we’re going to ‘kill your grandpa’ because of this health care reform bill.
Cooper asked, “You’re saying that language is written by insurance companies?” Potter responded, “Absolutely.”
Asked about the right-wing activists, Potter explained that the industry has “very close ties with the conservative radio talk show hosts and commentators and editorial page writers and they feed the talking points.”
Potter was also spoke to Rachel Maddow this week. “I think that the health insurance industry deserves a great deal of the blame because they’re very much behind the town hall disruptions that you see and a lot of the deception that’s going on in terms of disinformation that many Americans apparently are believing,” he explained.
Asked about a public option, and whether private insurance companies would be able to compete alongside a government-run non-profit plan, Potter added, “Well, they could, absolutely. I’ve seen the health insurance industry change its business models many, many times. The insurance companies who operate now are very different from the companies that operated a few years ago. They adapt very quickly. And the one thing they know how to do is make money.”
Here’s hoping that Potter, given his background and unique insights, gets a whole lot more media opportunities.