Nation Conversations: Wendell Potter on the Health Insurance Industry’s Lock on Congress

From The Nation

Listen below.

Wendell Potter, author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, stopped by The Nation’s offices this week to explain how insurance companies are manipulating the conversation surrounding healthcare legislation.

Potter was a health insurance executive for nearly 20 years but quit his position in 2008 because he found it difficult to work for an industry that placed profit over people’s health. In 2009, Potter testified before the Senate on how insurance companies have engaged in practices that have forced millions of Americans to become uninsured.

“The notion that this legislation will be repealed is just rhetoric, it’s political rhetoric. It’s a smoke screen really to get our attention off what their real objectives are,” Potter says in this conversation. “By now the insurance industry lobbyists have met with every new member of Congress, certainly those that they helped put into Congress…. Anything that is in the bill that is a consumer protection or new regulation they’ll try to water down or get stripped out. That’s the real danger.”

Potter warns that insurance companies have financially influenced many members of Congress, so its up to the public to pay close attention to their attempts to sway decisions on the outcome of healthcare legislation.

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