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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Health insurance industry still fighting health care reform

Wendell Potter, former media relations director for CIGNA, has written an expose of the health insurance business and it isn’t at all favorable to the consumer. In his book, Deadly Spin, he points out that the industry is governed by corporations that care little for the patients, but are greedy for profits. Between 2000 and 2008, private insurers hiked premiums by over 90 percent but payouts to care providers were up by only 72 percent.

Profits of the five biggest health insurers totaled an astronomical figure of $12.2 billion in 2009, an increase of 56 percent from 2008, reports Potter from his position as a Fellow with Center for Media and Democracy.

Photo by Shannon Kringen
Potter says that we are the only industrialized nation that connects health insurance with the act of being employed. And because of a ridiculous maze of federal and state regulations, there exists a “central ideological conflict.” The only thing the liberals and conservatives can agree on is that there is something wrong. What’s wrong? The author states he is convinced that “…managed care companies are fundamentally dishonest.”

Potter’s Senate testimony in 2009 revealed how health insurance companies make promises that they do not plan to keep. They actually show contempt for regulations that are in place to protect consumers. And they cease doing business with small companies whose medical claims surpass underwriter expectancy. To overcome all these obstacles, the insurance companies employ high paid PR executives—like Potter was with CIGNA—to do the dirty work of lobbying.

Michael Moore’s film, Sicko, helped him to decide to leave CIGNA and launch his current attack to expose the health insurance business for what it is. A greed laden industry obsessed with profits over providing the services they tout in misleading advertising and promotion. Potter says he needs to apologize to Moore for the role he played in the insurance industry’s attack campaign on Sicko.

It should be obvious to all that conservatives agree with this avarice and by attempting to scuttle President Obama’s Health Care Reform, plan to continue their support.

Read more here and here.


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