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Insurers Using Familiar Playbook to Protect Profits in California

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.02.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

For the next two months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health insurance premiums.

Why Health Care Costs So Much: Both Parties Suck at Teat of Medical-Industrial Complex

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Will Congress act to save taxpayers billions of dollars -- and protect the solvency of the Medicare programs -- by taking on the AMA, the drugmakers and the insurers? Don't hold your breath.

Why Do We Put Up with Washington's Cynical Misinformation Game?

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.19.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

There is one arena in which misleading the public not only is abided but is the norm: politics. In fact, much of what constitutes political discourse in this country is now built on a foundation of dishonesty.

Insurers Are Fleecing Us Out of Billions While Congress Looks the Other Way

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.16.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that health insurers may have fleeced taxpayers out of $70 billion in just five years.

A Different Way of Thinking About Health Care

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.19.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

A Charleston, South Carolina man who thought he had pretty good health insurance may miss work today, as he has several times already this year, becau...

Health Insurers' New Campaign to Create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.24.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- or FUD, to use its acronym -- continues to this day against the Affordable Care Act, and it will be waged in coming months by cynical politicians who believe it will be the surest way to win votes in November.

Don't Be Fooled by Latest Medicare Scare Campaign From an Insurance Front Group

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.29.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Ads supposedly sponsored by the Coalition for Medicare Choices started appearing last week warning that seniors will face higher costs, fewer benefits and a loss of provider choice if Congress and the administration don't take action.

As If the Citizens United Decision Wasn't Bad Enough

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.20.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The mainstream media seems to willfully ignore what corporations and other moneyed interests do to get what they want in Washington. As a result of this lack of media interest, Americans remain in the dark.

Guess Who Funded This Small Business Group's Anti-Obamacare Message

The Huffington Post | Catherine New | Posted 05.15.2013 | Small Business

The insurance industry helped one of the nation's leading small business groups to push its anti-Obamacare message with a hefty financial donation, th...

A Movement Is Needed to Get Corporations to Disclose All Their Political Spending. Let's Start It

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.29.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

While all companies are required to report their federal lobbying and Political Action Committee expenditures, that money is just a fraction of what they often spend in the political arena to protect their profits.

The Higher Health Insurers' Claim Denial Rate, the Higher the CEO Pay

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.23.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

When you're shopping for health insurance, wouldn't it be great if you could find out every insurer's claim denial rate? And how much each one spent on lobbying and advertising -- and how much they paid their CEO?

Twisted Logic on Capitol Hill Where 'Congressional Hearing' Often Isn't

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.29.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

As the video of the hearing shows, instead of allowing me to explain how common industry practices contribute to the dwindling number of small businesses being able to offer coverage, Rep. Blackburn gave me only one-third of one minute to talk when it was her turn to ask questions.

Getting Sick and Getting Purged

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.18.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

On Friday I was one of three witnesses to testify before a House committee hearing on whether the cost of health insurance will be higher or lower for people who cannot obtain it through their employer when important provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect in a few months.

Don't Fall for TV Ads on Medicare From an Insurance Industry Front Group

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.11.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Facing government cuts to one of their cash cows -- private Medicare plans -- health insurance companies have launched a multi-pronged campaign, financed by the customer premiums, to persuade Congress to keep the cuts from going into effect next month.

Why Americans Pay So Much for Health Care: Friends in High Places (Just Not Your Friends)

Wendell Potter | Posted 04.06.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If you wonder why we spend more money on health care than any other country but have some of the worst health outcomes, you need look no further than the halls of Congress to figure it out.

Getting Young People to Work Against Their Own Best Interests: Here's How It's Done

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.30.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's big PR and lobbying group, has rolled out a slick campaign aimed at getting Congress to gut some of ObamaCare's most important consumer protections.

Disintermediation: a big word that keeps health insurance execs up at night

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.23.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

For the first time in a long time, my former insurance colleagues and I agree on something: it's time for affordability. Health insurers' big PR and ...

Insurers Telling Only Part of the Story in Attempt to Gut Important Consumer Protections

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.16.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

During the final weeks of the health care reform debate, insurers papered Washington with a flawed "study" warning that premiums would soar if lawmakers ignored their recommendations. And now insurers are once again disseminating a new study with similar predictions.

New Scheme to Subvert Obamacare Would Hike Premiums for Many Consumers and Businesses

Wendell Potter | Posted 02.02.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

It's complicated -- so complicated that unless you are a reader of obscure insurance industry newsletters, you've probably never heard about this, even though it has the potential to cause the collapse of the exchanges and completely circumvent the intent of Congress.

Hug a Bureaucrat Today for Fighting Corporate Greed

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.26.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Although it's a few days past Thanksgiving, I'm still feeling grateful, even to much maligned federal employees. Last week bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services did us a big favor by resisting pressure from insurance company executives.

The Usual Suspects Who Will Benefit From Gutting Obamacare Now Want You to Worry About 'Disruption'

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.19.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Disruption. Get ready to hear that word many times in the coming weeks, especially if you hang out inside the Washington beltway.

Get Ready to Get Spun -- Again -- By Masters of Spin

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.12.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If health care leaders really cared a whit about the most vulnerable, millions of us would not be uninsured because of common industry practices -- practices like charging women and older people such high premiums that many have no option but to remain uninsured.

Only in America Could Cost of Care Bankrupt Victims of Violence Like in Aurora, Colorado

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.29.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded in that shooting at the Century Aurora 16 theater complex on July 20. While some have been released, others are still fighting for their lives in hospitals. And many of them will likely be fighting to stay afloat financially after they're discharged.

Worried About Profits, Insurers Launch Propaganda Campaign to Scare Consumers Away From Important ObamaCare Provisions

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.08.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Among the most important provisions of the Affordable Care Act are those that try to get us back to something close to the good old days of community rating.

How to Read Insurers' Reaction to Supreme Court Decision to Learn What They Plan to Do Next

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.01.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Health insurers avoided their worst case scenario last week -- the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down the individual mandate but letting the rest of the health care law, especially profit-threatening consumer protections, go forward.