Live: First Public Impeachment Hearings

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    Health insurance insider speaks out

    A former spokesman for Philadelphia-based Cigna Corporation is the featured speaker at Saturday’s health reform town hall meeting in Philadelphia. The forum was organized by advocates for single-payer health care.

    A former spokesman for Philadelphia-based Cigna Corporation is the featured speaker at Saturday’s health reform town hall meeting in Philadelphia. The forum was organized by advocates for single-payer health care.
    (Photo:http://www.flickr.com/photos/miriella/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

    Listen:

    [audio:090918tereform.mp3]

    Wendell Potter says he defended the for-profit health insurance industry in the 1990s and helped challenge President Clinton’s attempt to overhaul the health system. Potter says the insurance industry is using similar tactics to fight the latest try at reform. He calls it a charm offensive ….

    Potter: Which is telling people what they want to hear, that they are going to be good faith partners working with Congress and the President this time, that they are in favor of market reforms that would change how those businesses do business. They are not sincere, this is rhetoric, they’ve said this every time that we’ve had this debate.

    He says the proposal for a public health insurance option is a threat to for-profit companies.

    Potter: A public option would operate without that profit motive. You would not need to send money and millions of dollars every three months to shareholders, you would not need to have the high administrative expenses that these companies have.

    Potter says the insurance industry has shrunk through consolidation and mergers in recent years, and the private companies do not want competition from a public health plan. The forum starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

    More info:
    Watch Bill Moyers interview with Wendell Potter on the PBS video site.

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