Bill Moyers Journal Features CMD's Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter and Bill Moyers

Wendell Potter, the Center for Media and Democracy's Senior Fellow on Health Care, was interviewed for most of an hour by Bill Moyers on his Journal program Friday, July 10th.

Wendell Potter spent more than 20 years as a public relations executive for two large health insurers - Cigna and Humana - but left the industry after witnessing practices he felt harmed American health care consumers. In his own words:

I am speaking out about how big for-profit insurers have hijacked our health care system and turned it into a giant ATM for Wall Street investors, and how the industry is using its massive wealth and influence to determine what is (and is not) included in the health care reform legislation members of Congress are now writing. I was in a unique position to see not only how Wall Street analysts and investors influence decisions insurance company executives make but also how the industry has carried out behind-the-scenes PR and lobbying campaigns to kill or weaken any health care reform efforts that threatened insurers' profitability.

Wendell first went public as an advocate for health care reform as the lead witness at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on June 24 and has since attracted significant and continuing news media attention.


I am truly impressed by this interview and how spot on this segment was. I am a liver transplant patient and I received my transplant through Medicare. I would hate to think what would have happened to me if I had been with Blue Cross when I needed the transplant. I had my insurance through my union IATSE Local 477 Miami, FL. I support Government Health Care. Steven R. Goins

This is just one more example of the exemplary work that Bill Moyers does. When you look up "truth seeker" in the dictionary, you see his picture. We more like him in journalism. Of course the reform bill has passed now that it's May, 2010 but the system is in a total shambles. Wellpoint was just accused of dropping women with recent breast cancer diagnosis and the health care bill doesn't have the teeth needed to stop horrific actions like this. We all need to stand together, fight for what's right, applaud people who take that frightening and risky step of coming out against their industry and putting the good of the people ahead of everything else. It really shows that there is good in this world...just not in big corporate America for the most part...and nearly nowhere in the insurance industry. Thanks Wendell, you're an American hero! As a San Francisco chiropractor, I have lots of first hand experience with denials of care, and terrible insurance abuses of the system and their subscribers. I too insure my own family for outrageous premiums and moderate benefits. Not only do I feel for the average citizen who wants good health care and not to go broke or be taken advantage of, I am one.

This gentleman was able to strip away the layers of sometime confusing language that makes understanding the debate difficult for the average person. I will search out the transcripts of the testimony to the committee. His message needs to be delivered in a wide and loud method. Thank you Mr. Moyers -We (your viewers) need to see Wise County in more detail, next to hunger in children in this country lack of the most basic health care is criminal.

Wendell Potter tells it like it is. President Obama are you listening? Read the Luntz paper, "The Language of Healthcare 2009," to learn how health insurance companies manipulate language with emotion in order to play and win on their terms. This interview needs to be broadcast far and wide--but where are the Facebook and twitter buttons? At long last Michael Moore gets insider support for all that his 'Sicko' documentary brought to light. Bill Moyer's interview is a 'must see' if you care an inkling about the future of healthcare in our troubled nation. And who doesn't care? As autism climbs to 1 in 150 births, cancer leads disease-related causes of death in small children and obesity is claiming 30% of our youth, we are sinking deeper and deeper into a morass. This ship we call American healthcare makes the Titanic look like an overturned canoe. Wendell Potter you are to be applauded. LouAnn Los Angeles

Mr. Potter's appearance on the Journal was informative and useful. He has the insiders' facts. Most of us, John Q's, out here just have personal stories. Yet, as I read the on-going, ever-changing, health care squabbles and rants in Congress I fear the lobbyists have done their jobs. When Mr. Potter appeared before Congress that should have been the end of the arguing. I am sorry I didn't get to see it but I think I pretty much know how it went. The title of a book, Congress, the Sapless Branch by Sen. Joseph Clark often comes to mind. President Obama while trying to return to the Legislative branch some of their share of governance may wake up and realize he has been dreaming. I hope it is not too late.

Thank you Mr. Potter for revealing the unscrupulous strategies and tactics of the health insurance industry. As a long time member of an Indiana group advocating for the single payer option (www. I had long suspected as much and it was good to have your verification. Your congressional testimony and the Interview with Bill Moyers should be required viewing for anyone concerned about healthcare reform. I have emailed Senator Baucus with links to the PBS web site and plan to forward them on also to my congressional representatives. I hope others will do the same. Christina Deegan Bloomington, Indiana

I am watching Bill Moyers interview with Wendell Potter, it is a real eye opener, he should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country, the guy gave up a cushy job to speak out about the slimy practices of the healthcare industry. Go Wendell!

I am finding it most interesting, what Mr. Wendell Potter has to say about what the insurance industry has been, and is doing. My brother worked with the insurance industry for over 20 years before retiring, and it puzzled me as to why he was still, though retired, parroting the lies we have been hearing about Gov. health care regulations or programs, using scare tactics, such as our moving toward socialism with such Gov. programs, etc.; telling how bad the health care programs are in Canada, England, and other countries. I thought that he had just watched way too much Fox "news" (propaganda and nothing less) and had become brainwashed by the wild eyed nut case Republicans who never tire in talking this way about any Health care reform. I now know, though well educated and well meaning, that my brother was and is brainwashed first of all by the very corporation with which he worked for all those years. I want to thank Mr. Wendell Potter for clearing this up, and helping me to better understand my own brother, regarding health care reform.

I watched the Bill Moyers interview with Wendell Potter and I am sickened. Not by what was actually said in the interview, but what seems to be a horrible trend in the United States these days. Its the fact that large corporations and wall street have our government in their pocket. This is not a conservative/liberal or democrat/republican problem...this is our problem...THE PEOPLES PROBLEM !! What in God's name are we going to do about this. We can't even turn to OUR elected officials to help us. You know, I am 46 years old and this is NOT the country I once knew. We really need to do something drastic to get their attention. You know, when I was in school they taught us about something called a BOYCOTT !! We, the people, need to standup up for our rights. When the Iranian people didn't like what was going on, they took to the streets in protest. I think we need to have a peaceful revolution to let our government know that we DEMAND change in healthcare, we DEMAND accountablility for the last 8 years of criminal acts, and WE DEMAND CHANGE...NOW !!

This illuminating interview also illustrates why so many are signing up for medical tourism, which has huge consequences for the environment and deprives locals of basic care because their doctors cater to spoiled people from wealthy nations.