Ramblings about what I encounter within the realm of the geosciences, as well as the occasional rant about nonsense.

12 September 2009

Wendell Potter and the Health Care Modus Operandi

I am just floored by this. This links to a segment of Bill Moyer's Journal where he interviews a former health insurance executive. The executive, Wendell Potter, is explaining how the insurance firms operate, especially when they feel that their profits are being threatened. Here is a telling quote from the transcript:
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.
The interview is about 40 minutes (I think. My apartment has pretty low bandwidth, so after about 7 minutes of intermittent playback, I read the transcript). However, within the first 7 minutes you get treated to several insurance executives telling congress, point blank, they will not stop rescinding coverage of patients for unintentionally withholding medical information (as would be the case if the patient didn't know they had gall stones).

It goes on to tell how the insurance industry threatened members of congress during the Clinton years that endorsing the message that health care should be reformed is a "one-way ticket back to minority party status". The interview also talks about the ease of gaining access to policy makers that these insurance firms enjoy. They have a level of access out of reach of most Americans. I've emailed my senators once or twice (even called them on one occasion), but I've never phoned them up and dictated we will have a meeting.

I will return to talking about Geology later. But right now, this is something that everybody should watch and share. I will finish this post with another quote from Wendell Potter:
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 [Sicko].

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, and winding up there.

And another thing is that the advocates of reform or the opponents of reform are those who are saying that we need to be careful about what we do here, because we don't want the government to take away your choice of a health plan. It's more likely that your employer and your insurer is going to switch you from a plan that you're in now to one that you don't want. You might be in the plan you like now.

But chances are, pretty soon, you're going to be enrolled in one of these high deductible plans in which you're going to find that much more of the cost is being shifted to you than you ever imagined.

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All the Latin on this page is from my vague recollections from High School. There are mistakes in the text. I just was trying to get the point across

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM
The photo of the travertine spring was taken in the small opening in the center of the image.

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