CMD's Wendell Potter Interviewed by Amy Goodman

Wendell Potter is the former CIGNA health insurance executive who is now Senior Fellow on Health Care with the Center for Media and Democracy. He is blowing the whistle on his former industry's lobby and PR tactics and was interviewed July 16, 2009 for forty-five minutes by Amy Goodman of the radio and TV program Democracy Now! The entire interview can be viewed online. Here is a snippet:

AMY GOODMAN: What is the game plan of the health insurance industry?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, the game plan is based on scare tactics. And, of course, the thing they fear most is that the country will at some point gravitate toward a single-payer plan. That's the ultimate fear that they have. But they know that right now that is not something that's on the legislative table. And they've been very successful in making sure that it isn't. They fear even the public insurance option that's being proposed, that was part of President Obama's campaign platform, his healthcare platform. And they'll pull out all the stops they can to defeat that. And they'll be working with their ideological allies, with the business community, with conservative pundits and editorial writers, to try to scare people into thinking that embracing a public health insurance option would lead us down the slippery slope toward socialism and that you will be, in essence, putting a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor. That is—you know, they've used those talking points for years, and in years past they've always worked.


Namaste, I am a progressive and have been most of my life. However, I have sort of turned spiritual in the last few years or so, so please forgive me if I step on some toes with this spiritual interpretation of Wendell Potter. And if you can't allow me this, well than all I can say is 'get over it' can 'chill out'. And yes, Virginia, there are Controllers who have been controlling us, without our knowledge, for a long, long, time. From my lifelong experience I think that probably higher forces have been working throughout Potter's life to bring him to where he is now, and this is probably a result of his prebirth agreement to do what he is doing. That is he is probably part of a Grand Master Plan that will eventually heal the Earth and all of us. Thank you, Mr. Potter. That being said, I have listened to Mr. Potter being interviewed by Bill Moyers, parts of his Congressional testimony, and now Democracy Now! The DN! interview is I feel his best interview yet. In a shout amount of time, he was able to touch on every necessary point in the most eloquent way. When I first heard that Obama was supporting the forced insurance medical plan, I went ballistic and called all my representatives in Congress within the first few minutes of this. I know better than to go ballistic, anger is insanity, and takes you away from love. When I was able to calm down, I trusted that (most of the time) everything would turn out for the good eventually. Then Source Creator sent us Mr. Potter, with Mr. Potter's permission, of course, and we are now on a different course. Thank you again, Mr. Potter. I send you so much love you can not imagine. Love and light,

Not anything? Not the roads, not the schools, not the military? Should we replace all those inefficient fire departments and police departments with private contractors, dittor for the miliary? Oh wait, that was already happening in Iraq and saved us a bundle of money!

Yeah. Things like our armed forces, military industrial complex giving us things like the internet and microwaves, putting a person on the moon, law enforcement, postal service... such crap. We need more private power like banks or insurance companies... They've proven to operate waaay better than the government. You're absolutely right, 'Reality'. What roses were those?

Gov't got to the moon in 9 years. But then they made NASA privatize most of its operations and we haven't done that much in manned-flight since except hang out in low-earth orbit. They invented the Internet then gave it away to big business who is soaking us with fees and trying to control content. Gov't provided electricity to all the rural areas of the country while in the Depression. Women on farms would still be washing their clothes with washboards otherwise. Gov't did all the basic research during WWII and built the first modern digital computers. Gov't won WWII. Gov't built the Interstate Hwy. System. Gov't educated the Greatest Generation via the G.I. Bill which made us the strongest economy in the world. Gov't gave us the Land Grant Colleges so the middle class had access to a higher eduaction. Gov't won the Cold War. Gov't saved our landmarks with the National Park System. Gov't got us out of the Depression when the free-market screwed up. Of course the private sector never screws up. Look at the auto industry, Enron, savings & loan industry, Wall Street, all the companies that make Superfund sites, ...

If the Republicans can repeat the Big Lie, why can't we get just as vocal about the Big Truth? Don't want "socialized" health care? Then vow to give up "socialized" fire fighting, "socialized" police forces, "socialized" military, "socialized" national park system, "socialized" Tennessee Valley Authority, "socialized" Medicare....

Medicare is a government program that is efficient. The Vets seem to do well also. Perhaps we should STOP listening to the big business myths - so they can go ahead and make $$$$$$$$$$ off of us and then be so big they have to be bailed out with our TAX money when the economy fails. Perhaps this is one reason it failed: GREED NOW is the time - YES! Our government is going after the fat cats with off shore $$$$$$$$$$$$ and they too will pay taxes.

I'd change the word roses to sh*t but that would be bit crude of me. Not as crude as the government.

Wendell, I heard your PBS and Democracy Now interviews. I just want to express my admiration for you taking such a brave, principled stand against the corrupt and unjust American health care industry. I hope more of your former industry colleagues do the right thing and come forward, as you did, to speak truth to power. Congratuations!

I saw some of Moyer's interview with Wendell Potter and it made me wonder how good Potter was as a spokesperson for Cigna. Moyer's showed some clips from Michael Moore's SICKO that implied that the Canadian health system and the Cuban health care system were better than the U.S. system. Potter accepted that view. Has Potter ever heard of the book Code Blue by Dr. David Gratzer about the problems in the Canadian system or read the transcript of Dr. Gratzer's testimony before the U.S. House of Representatiov Ways and Means Committee. Long waits for treatment are the norm. By Canadian statistics 50% of patients wait 41 days or more for a MRI. 25% of patients wait 199 days for cataract surgery. The Canadian Supreme Court recently ruled that patients have a right to use their own money to secure their own health care because the wait could be harmful to the patients' care. The Supreme Court became involved because it became illegal in the 1980s for a person to have private health insurance. Notice that last sentence. Having one's health insurance was legal and then it became illegal. No doubt the arguments used was that it would improve cost-savings. I fully support a change in the way our health care system is set-up. However, thought should be given to whatever change is made. Anyone pushing a 1000 page bill to be processed quickly should be viewed with suspicion. No one really knows what is about to become law.