Potter's "Deadly Spin" Exposes Damaging Insurance Industry PR Activities

Wendell PotterIn his new book, former insurance industry insider Wendell Potter says insurance companies spend a huge portion of Americans' health insurance premiums on relentless propaganda and lobbying efforts that are focused on one thing: profits. He describes how the insurance industry's PR onslaught drastically weakened the new health reform law, and how it plays an insidious but often invisible role in politics any time corporate profits are threatened, on subjects ranging from climate change to defense policy. Wendell says he has been getting particular grief from former colleagues over a chapter in the book about a meticulously-planned, deception-based campaign to discredit filmmaker Michael Moore and his 2007 movie, Sicko. After discovering the movie blamed most of the problems with America's health care system on insurance companies, the industry ran a secret, behind-the-scenes campaign to demonize Moore and assure that Americans would stay misinformed about Canadian and European health care systems, which provide high quality health care for all their citizens at much lower costs than in the U.S. Few Americans are aware, Wendell says, of the central role the health insurance industry played in creating the fear-mongering and anger-mongering campaign against the Democrats' original version of the health reform bill, which included a public option that would have competed against private insurers and that President Obama originally said was necessary to "keep insurers honest."


The Chamber of Commerce spent $86 million to attack health care reform. It backed candidates and spent $33 million on anti reform ads acting as a cover for the insurance industry posing as a friend of reform while outsourcing suspicion and criticism that stampeded public opposition. The Chamber and insurance company campaign to kill healthcare reform may kill us or bankrupt us and those we love.

How long do we have to endure the conspiracies between insurance companies, the Chamber and allies in Congress?

"Deadly Spin" by Wendell Potter is an indictment of how corporate PR is damaging our healthcare system and deceiving Americans.