Wendell Potter on “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out”

From Democracy NOW!

In the wake of the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers are vowing to repeal or defund the Democrats’ landmark healthcare reform bill that President Obama signed into law earlier this year. A health insurance insider-turned-whistleblower argues that, instead of repealing the law altogether, Republicans will ultimately settle for gutting the law of its provisions that protect consumers. That’s because the insurance industry is a major beneficiary of healthcare reform and they’re also a major contributor to Republican campaigns. Wendell Potter should know. He spent two decades as a spokesman for two of the nation’s largest health insurers, Humana and CIGNA. He quit and made national headlines in June of last year when he testified on Capitol Hill about the profit motive driving the unscrupulous practices of the insurance industry. Wendell Potter joins us for an extended interview about his new book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.


  1. john on November 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Healthcare today is the new religion. The doctors are the high priests.Just ask anyone who lost a loved one to the baloney.

    people today would be far better off staying healthy and avoiding doctors and especialy hosptials as much as possible.

    Why be so concerned with having health insurance when if you ever need it ,the quality is rarely there.

    • Eric Naumburg on November 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

      I would formulate your comments differently. The high priests of American health care are the private insurance company executives. The religion is the belief that the “free” market place and profits can solve the access and cost problems that worsen medical outcomes and are dragging down our economy. Private for profit health insurance doesn’t work; the evidence is overwhelming. The USA ranks 36 in medical outcomes, ranks 19th of 20 in the number of preventable deaths, and pays twice as much per person for healthcare as other developed nations. We can learn from the rest of the developed world, that what works is a non-profit, publicly financed insurance system with one payer, e.g. Improved Medicare for Everyone.

  2. Katy on November 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    If the Republicans and insurance companies are going to reopen the issue and try gutting the current health care reform, maybe we need a surge to put single payer back on the table. Maybe we need a WINTER march on Washington in January. It is time to push back hard and big or we are going to lose even what we’ve got planned.