Wendell Potter Takes An Insider's Look at America's Healthcare Insurance Industry

I will add my name to the growing list of intelligent, nonpartisan people wondering why the Obama crowd hasn’t tapped Wendell Potter on the healthcare debate. Politics aren’t typically part of Anne of Carversville, but taking care of all American citizens is a Cultural Creative focus.

As a journalist and editor, I try to stay away from highly-opinionated people who thrive in shouting matches, empty rhetoric and unsupported, inflammatory statements.

How we become informed citizens is a good question, when I see the distortion of facts going on in the heathcare debate. Truthfully, I don’t know where to begin in understanding our options on health care reform — except to say that I’m impressed with this video.

A dear European/American citizen friend of mine has pressed me several times to post the Bill Moyers interview with former marketing/pr Cigna Insurance executive Wendell Potter.

Bill Moyers Journal|Wendell Potter

I agree that whenever the corporate insider changes his/her stripes on a topic — especially when s(he) wasn’t forced out of the organization, I tend to pay attention. After all, I’m first and foremost an ethical businesswoman — most days, that is.

Writing for Huffington Post, Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court praises Wendell Potter’s whistleblower commentary about America’s health insurance industry.

Senator Jay Rockefeller wrote to Cigna Corp’s chairman and chief executive last week, asking for information on the health insurer’s “alleged practice of ‘purging’ small businesses whose employees have serious health problems.” Potter testified before Rockefeller’s Senate committee. via Wall Street Journal

In  this interview with Bill Moyers, Wendell Potter tells the story of how he came to change his mind about health care providers for America. In sharing his observations and corporate experiences, Potter takes us front and center to a reality of American health care that defies the glowing descriptions of a system that’s the finest in the world.

Wendell Potter, former Cigna PR chief, not health insurance watchdogBottom line, America’s healthcare system is unsurpassed for certain people. I was the beneficiary of extraordinary care and a “perfect” hip replacement at Pennsylvania Hospital. I share the reality that it’s only because of another dear and enterprising doctor friend of mine, that I ended up in Pennsylvania Hospital, where I received the best care possible.

My situation was that as a self-employed person, then covered under a state of NJ policy for small businesses (because the big companies wouldn’t insure a small company), I was on the verge of paying a top surgeon $11,000 of my own money and going to Newark’s teaching hospital, not known for its bedside manner, but one of the places where he practices. My insurance policy wouldn’t allow me to go to his more suburban hospital in northern New Jersey.

All ended well in my case. You would never know that I have a hip replacement, the result of a childhood injury. I had the best care possible — because an influential friend intervened, when I said I was going to Newark.

None of the recommended surgeons or hospitals would take my policy, as a small business, self-insured person. To our mutual shock and amazement, Pennsylvania Hospital and the doctor doing more hip replacements than anyone in America took my insurance.

If you follow any international health care statistics for whole populations, you know that America ranks far down on the list — under Cuba.

Bill Moyers and Wendell Potter take us to the America that none of us seem to know about. Certainly, we don’t want to admit these facts in public, but this view of American health care is sobering.

You decide; I’m only trying to facilitate dialogue beyond the incoherent shouting matches that demanded no changes in America’s ‘free enterprise’ system, during last week’s town hall meetings. A plan for paid hospice care, which I embrace without reservation based on two intimate experiences, became a government demand for euthanasia.

Reality is, something must change; the status quo is indefensible. Health care costs will bankrupt America.

My brother is the prominent chairman of a major cancer center in America. He is very concerned about upcoming changes in the law, and Chuck is the quintessential good guy, good father, husband and beloved doctor.

So there you have it — a health care system with no easy solutions but lots of problems.

Bill Moyers and Wendell Potter simply ask: how good is America’s health care and insurance system for the majority of its citizens? I give you one man’s experience, a corporate an insider’s point of view about America’s health insurance industry. Anne