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Testimony of Wendell Potter, June 24, 2009



June 25, 2009 – Comments (2)

My name is Wendell Potter and for twenty years I worked as a Senior Executive at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick - all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.

I know from personal experience that Members of Congress and the Public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the health insurance industry. Insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and the make it nearly impossible to understand - or even obtain- the information we need.

If you wish someone had spoken honestly about the investment banks before they imploded, here is your chance to read someone who is speaking about health insurance before it does.

Every one of you Congressman has the opportunity to ignore this testimony... If you let him.


One solution is to ask for H.R.676, and stop the next Government bailout of a private company.

2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 25, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Option1307 (30.58) wrote:

Interesting read, thanks!

Some specific points of interest:

1)  To win the favor of powerful analysts, for-profit insurers must prove that they made more money during the previous quarter than a year earlier and that the portion of the premium going to medical costs is falling.

Don’t all businesses essentially do this same practice, isn’t this one of the major flaws of the banking industry too. It’s all about profits, screw morality and ethics!

2) Secondly, the number of uninsured people has increased as more have fallen victim to deceptive marketing practices and bought what essentially is fake insurance.

Ok I agree that there are sketchy companies out there offering bogus plans, but where is the personal responsibility? Aren’t people responsible for their own decisions? To a tiny extent, this is a real factor. But I take issue that this is a significant problem. Similarly I take issue with those that claim there was a significant issue of predatory lending, yes it occurred, but I’m betting people’s stupidity and ignorance are more to fault.

I know you were just presenting this article for others to read and not necessarily agreeing with all of the author’s points. So I point out the above statements not in disagreement, but rather as points that I hope people will think about and consider. 

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#2) On June 26, 2009 at 10:43 AM, devoish (67.86) wrote:

I do agree with most of the article and pointed it out because I do. The issue of not having coverage and misleading sales tactics is not one personal responsibility, but one of thievery. And with as much testimony of insufficient coverage as I have read I cannot consider it small. The specific dscriptions of abuse in this testimony are commonplace, according to the Doctors at PNHP, anecdotal online evidence of peoples personal stories I have linked to, Andrew Cuomo's pitifully small fines against the largest insurers not the smallest, and now this testimony.

I am also tired of blending the line between " legitimate business's making profits" and business's not delivering products as promised in the sales pitch. One is stealing and that is many insurers. Doing it hidden behind a 75 page coontract might make it legal and is exactly why we need H.R.676 to put an end to legal thievery.

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