Insurance Industry Exec admits Michael Moore was RIGHT about Health Care

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Former CIGNA Exec Wendell Potter, says Michael Moore was right!…

WENDELL POTTER: I thought that he hit the nail on the head with his movie.

But the [Insurance] Industry, from the moment that the Industry learned that Michael Moore was taking on the health care industry, it was really concerned.

BILL MOYERS: What were they afraid of?

WENDELL POTTER: They were afraid that people would believe Michael Moore.

This Insurance Insider admits that the Industry Industry was afraid of Michael Moore’s Movie ‘Sicko’.  And SO they launch a coordinated PR campaign, among Insurers, to discredit Moore and his Movie, before it had a chance to receive a fair hearing by the public.

I wonder what else this Insurance Insider and Whistleblower, Wendell Potter, has to say about the Health Insurance Industry tactics? How things really operate in this Parasitic Industry?

Here are the interview hightlights:

BILL MOYERS: Wendell Potter joins us now. Welcome to the Journal.

WENDELL POTTER: Thank you very much for having me here.

BILL MOYERS: You worked for CIGNA 15 years and left last year.


BILL MOYERS: Were you pushed out?

WENDELL POTTER: I was not. I left– it was my decision to leave, and my decision to leave when I did. […] And in fact, there was no further place for me to go in the company. I was head of corporate communications and that was the ultimate PR job.


BILL MOYERS: You were also involved in the campaign by the industry to discredit Michael Moore and his film “Sicko” in 2007. […] So what did you think when you saw that film?

WENDELL POTTER: I thought that he hit the nail on the head with his movie. But the industry, from the moment that the industry learned that Michael Moore was taking on the health care industry, it was really concerned.

BILL MOYERS: What were they afraid of?

WENDELL POTTER: They were afraid that people would believe Michael Moore.


BILL MOYERS: Is it true? Did you think it contained a great truth?

WENDELL POTTER: Absolutely did.

BILL MOYERS: What was it?

WENDELL POTTER: That we shouldn’t fear government involvement in our health care system. That there is an appropriate role for government, and it’s been proven in the countries that were in that movie.

You know, we have more people who are uninsured in this country than the entire population of Canada. And that if you include the people who are underinsured, more people than in the United Kingdom. We have huge numbers of people who are also just a lay-off away from joining the ranks of the uninsured, or being purged by their insurance company

PBS Transcript of Potter Interview

Here is the complete Moyer’s interview with Industry Insider Wendell Potter. Well worth viewing if you haven’t seen it before, (or even if you have).

CIGNA Exec Says Michael Moore Was RIGHT!

youtube clip

PBS clip

The search for “Hospital Billing Departments” in other “Modern” Countries that DO have a National Health Care system (which is most of them) — is a rather eye-opening experience — in a, “Well, I’ll be damned!” sort of way:

(Michael Moore is an expert, at delivering such realizations.)

BILL MOYERS: You were also involved in the campaign by the industry to discredit Michael Moore and his film “Sicko” in 2007. In that film Moore went to several countries around the world, and reported that their health care system was better than our health care system, in particular, Canada and England. Take a look at this.

MICHAEL MOORE: I went across the city to a crowded hospital waiting room. How long did you have to wait here to get help?

CANADIAN WOMAN #1: 20 minutes

CANADIAN WOMAN #2: 45 minutes

CANADIAN MAN #2: I got helped right away.

CANADIAN WOMAN #3: You can see how crowded this is. They really do an amazing job.

MICHAEL MOORE: Did you have to get anyone’s permission to come to this hospital?




CANADIAN WOMAN #3: We can go anywhere we want.

MICHAEL MOORE: You don’t have to get pre-approved?

CANADIAN WOMAN #3: No, no. You just–

MICHAEL MOORE: By your own insurance company?

CANADIAN WOMAN #3: Oh no, oh heavens no.

MICHAEL MOORE: Can you choose your own doctor?

CANADIAN WOMAN #3: Oh sure. Oh yes.

MICHAEL MOORE: What’s your deductible?

CANADIAN MAN #1: Nothing.

CANADIAN WOMAN #1: I don’t think we have any.

CANADIAN MAN #2: I don’t know. I don’t think there’s any as far as I know.

CANADIAN WOMAN #3: It’s really a fabulous system for making sure that the least of us and the best of us are taken care of.

BRITISH WOMAN #1: Oh, really it’s not like that in the US? No. Not at all, no.

MICHAEL MOORE: So what do you pay to stay here?

BRITISH WOMAN #1: No one pays. They’re asking, “How do people pay?” And I said, well there isn’t, you don’t, you just leave.

BRITISH MAN #1: It’s just the insurance. There’s no bill at the end of it, as it were.

MICHAEL MOORE: Even with insurance, there’s bound to be a bill somewhere. So where’s the billing department?

BRITISH WOMAN #1: There isn’t really a billing department.

BRITISH WOMAN #2: There’s no such thing as a billing department.

MICHAEL MOORE: What did they charge you for that baby?


MICHAEL MOORE: You’ve got to pay before you can get out of here, right?


BRITISH MAN #1: No, no, no. Everything’s on NHS.


BRITISH MAN #1: You know, it’s not America.

BILL MOYERS: So what did you think when you saw that film?

WENDELL POTTER: I thought that he hit the nail on the head with his movie. But the industry, from the moment that the industry learned that Michael Moore was taking on the health care industry, it was really concerned.

BILL MOYERS: What were they afraid of?

WENDELL POTTER: They were afraid that people would believe Michael Moore.

BILL MOYERS: We obtained a copy of the game plan that was adopted by the industry’s trade association, AHIP. And it spells out the industry strategies in gold letters. It says, “Highlight horror stories of government-run systems.” What was that about?

{Note: You can download the documents by clicking here and here (PDFs)}

WENDELL POTTER: The industry has always tried to make Americans think that government-run systems are the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, that if you even consider that, you’re heading down on the slippery slope towards socialism. So they have used scare tactics for years and years and years, to keep that from happening. If there were a broader program like our Medicare program, it could potentially reduce the profits of these big companies. So that is their biggest concern.


PBS Transcript of Potter Interview

“That is their biggest concern — Profits?” — Not the actual Good Health of their Insurance Customers?


What DO THEY bring to the Table?

How DO THEY improve Americans’ Quality of Life?

It’s no wonder Insurance Execs were afraid of Michael Moore — he actually has the guts to speak the Truth to Power, as shown in the next clip.

Do we as American’s actually have the guts, to actually hear his Message, to repeat it, to fight like hell, to get our Country back, like he does?

CNN Gets Blitzed by Michael Moore…

In order to spin Micheal’s Movie, to the liking of their sponsors (?), CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s rattles off a cherry-picked “Fact Check” against the Movie Sicko, prior to the Moore Interview. (Just to get him riled up, no doubt, too.)

Surprisingly, Dr. Sanjay Gupta concedes several key points in the Insurance Reform Debate, in the process of trying to discredit the Moore Movie ‘Sicko’:

CNN’s Reality Check — Sanjay Gupta:

The United States slipped to number 37 in the World’s Health Care Systems. It’s True, 37 is the Ranking according to the World Health Organization (WHO) latest data on 191 Countries.


The United States spends $6096 a year per person, vs. $229 a year in Cuba. And astronomically MORE Money, DOESN’T mean far better Outcomes. In fact Americans live just a little bit longer than Cubans on Average. SO Americans DO pay more.


It’s TRUE, that the United States is the ONLY Country in the Western World, without Free Universal Access to Health Care.


SO, there’s No Perfect System anywhere. […] There’s one [Fact] that everyone agrees on — the System HERE, should be far better. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Reporting.

And then the Fireworks begin!  Talk about being passionate about your work!

Or is it more about being passionate for the Truth?

Wolf Blizter: Michael Moore, thanks very much for coming in. First of all do you want to respond to anything you just heard?

Michael Moore: Yeah, I’d like about 10 minutes to Respond to what was said.

Wolf Blizter: Well give us a couple of Headlines, of what you’d like to say.

Michael Moore: I don’t talk in Sound Bites. … So that Report was so Biased. I can’t imagine what Pharmaceutical Company Ads are coming up right after our break here.

But you know, WHY don’t you Tell the Truth to the American People — I mean, I wish that CNN and the other Main Stream Media, would just for ONCE Tell the Truth, about what’s going on in this Country, whether it’s with Health Care — I don’t care what it is.

I mean you guys have such a poor track record. And for me to come on here, and have to listen to that kind of crap!

I mean seriously, I haven’t been on your show now for 3 years. The last time I was on, you ran a similar piece about “Fahrenheit 911” saying ‘OH this can’t be True, what he’s saying about the War, how it’s going to be a Quagmire, the Weapons of Mass Destruction …’

You know, why don’t you start off, with my first appearance back on your show in 3 years, and maybe apologize to me, for saying that 3 years ago. Because it turned out that everything I said in “Fahrenheit” was TRUE!


I took you, in that film, to Walter Reed Hospital, and it took THREE YEARS before you, or any of the rest of the Main Stream Media would go to Walter Reed Hospital and see what was happening to our Troops.


After setting that “cordial” mood, Michael Moore starts in on his own “Fact Check”, against the CNN Corporate spin:

Michael Moore: All the statistics show that we have FAR worse Health Care than these other industrialize Countries. We are the only ones, the DON’T have it — FREE and Universal!

You said that Germany was the only one that was better than us, in terms of ‘Wait Times’. The Commonwealth Fund last year, showed of the top 6 Countries, we were 2nd to last, next to Canada. It showed that Britain, for instance, 71% of the British Public when they call to see a Doctor — they get to see a Doctor THAT Day, or the NEXT Day! It’s 69% in Germany, It’s 66% in Australia. You’re the ones, who are ‘Fudging the Facts’.

You ‘Fudge the Facts’ to the American People now, for I don’t know how long — about this Issue, about the War!

And I’m just curious, WHEN are you going to just stand there an apologize to the American People, for NOT bringing the Truth to them? — That isn’t sponsored by some major Corporation?  … I’ll sit here for as long as it takes, if you can do that for me.

Wolf Blizter: All right, just in fairness, we had a lot of commercials for Sicko, that we’ve been running on CNN, as well. SO, you know, we HAVE commercialsthis is a Business, obviously.



Micheal Moore’s Fact Check page

Micheal Moore’s youtube page

Well the interview continues, but needless to say, Independent Thinkers, with an honest appraisal of what’s wrong with our Systems of Government and Employment, rarely get an equal platform these days, on that viewing-machine “Business”, which is little more than “Dialing for Dollars” (advertising dollars that is. Thanks Wolf for that little concession — the pretense of Fair and Objective Reporting of ALL Sides of an Issue, is So Over!)

Well, there is at least ONE MSM Pundit these days, who does have some ‘guts’.

Someone who’s drive and “calling”, IS to listen to US, the American Working People, and echo OUR Concerns, and to fight for OUR Causes and our Interests:

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Interviews Wendell Potter…

ED SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Republican sound machine is in full force against health care.

We gave you the “Playbook,” in fact back on May 6th on this program, we went through the right wing’s messaging machine playbook; it’s a 28-page strategy memo from Republican pollster Frank Luntz.  He told the Republicans to hammer basically four things when it comes to reform,

that reform would be:

— a “government takeover” by Washington bureaucrats.  

— It would “ration” your health care.  

— And get “between you and your doctor.”


ED SCHULTZ: Big insurance is lining is pockets of lawmakers.  Big insurance only cares about their profits. They want lawmakers to protect their backyard, their profits.  They’re voting against reforms that would really be good for consumers.

But I don’t want you to take my word for it.  I want you to pay attention to this next interview.  We have a former insurance insider.

Joining me now is Wendell Potter.  He is a senior fellow on health care for the center for media and democracy.  He’s also a former vice president for the insurance giant Cigna.

Mr. Potter, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  Is the industry telling the truth to the American people and telling the truth to those in the Congress?

WENDELL POTTER, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: No, they’re not.  And that’s one of the reasons why I left my job at Cigna and why I decided to speak out.  I didn’t want to be a part of that–those lies and misleading statements once again.

I’ve been a part of them in the past and I just didn’t want to do that again.

SCHULTZ:  Where are the insurance companies making their big profits when it comes to health care?  What are they doing to consumers?

POTTER:  What they’re doing to consumers is, number one — they’re shifting a lot more of the financial burden from them and the employers onto the shoulders of working men and women.  And they also are very actively looking at claims when they’re submitted.  And they’re acting — taking action to dump people when they’re sick, either in the individual market or in the small groups.

So a lot of small employers no longer can afford health care because of the actions taken by the insurance companies to get rid of them when their employees’ claims are a little bit higher than the underwriters expected.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Potter, do you think that there’s a lot of people in the industry that feel the same way you did but just didn’t follow the action you took?

POTTER:  Absolutely, I know there are.  I’ve gotten just dozens, actually hundreds of e-mails from people that I have worked with in the past.  And most of them now former Cigna employees and employees of other companies who know me and have sent me communications to sell me, “I wish I had done that.”


SCHULTZ:  How much do you think they want to defeat the public option?

POTTER:  Well, they’re pulling out all the stops.  That’s why you’re seeing the same talking points they’ve used over the years being trotted out again.  They’re ever green talking points.

They will say one thing on–the industry is engaged in what I call the charm defense in saying that they’re all for reform; but behind the scenes, working with their allies to gut it.  The public option is one of the things that they pretty much have drawn a line in the sand saying, “We can’t accept that.”


POTTER:  I think the president is winning. I think the advocates for health care reform are winning.  It may not seem that way, when we see a headline like we saw the other day in the “Wall Street Journal,” about the CBO estimating that we can’t afford it.

We can’t afford not to do this.  I think the president can communicate that more as time goes by and as Congress really gets down to business.  I think that we’ll see reform this time and meaningful reform.…

So People, are we going to be Railroaded again, by “secret Industry PR agendas” and “shallow GOP Talking Points”, who’s only merit is how often, and consistently they get repeated, without a shred of “the facts” to get in the way of the FEAR?

OR are we going to Get Mad, and Fight Back with The People’s Talking Points?

The Choice is ours.

We can sit there, and take it.

Or we can stand up, get Mad as Hell, and decide NOT to take their BS anymore!

There ARE are few brave folks out there, showing us how it’s done.

Free Speech, is wonderful thing!

Kind of like worry-free Universal Health Care coverage, that every other “Modern” Country enjoys — EXCEPT FOR the United States!

And like with Free Speech, like with Good Health, you need to USE IT — OR Lose it!

Because our Opponents, will certainly use those two things, against us — for the simple reason of preserving the Status Quo (and their immense, unchallenged Profits).

Enough already.

Enough of this Legalized Extortion system, called U.S. Private Insurance, that charges us the MOST in the world, but actually delivers to us, Health Care that ranks 37th!


also posted on dkos



    • jamess on August 2, 2009 at 21:37

    many thanks for reading.

  1. insurance industry. So what is our Congress doing about this? They have designed legislation to reward the insurance industry with a $1 trillion dollars of taxpayer money. They are selling this insurance give away under the guise of insurance reform. There are mandates in the legislation to force people to buy insurance from the insurance industry. The strongest  so called public  option severely restricts who may enroll. The CBC has reported that it will be able to enroll 9 – 10 million people by 2017 and will have no impact on the cost of insurance.

    This insurance industry give away will be financed with cuts to the Medicare budget. If, contrary to claims by Congress, benefits are cut to meet this budget reduction, Seniors will have to purchase even higher cost insurance industry Medicare supplemental plans or receive less care.

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