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Wendell Potter Headshot

The Fight for a Better Health Care System Is Far from Over

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For 20 years I worked for huge for-profit health insurance companies, doing their bidding as their spokesperson. My cumulative experience taught me that the role they play in health care is often dangerous and destructive. That's why I left my job five years ago.

Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping Americans understand what health insurance companies are up to and how we can stop them from undermining health reform. As long as profit-seeking insurance companies are involved in health care, I will devote my personal and professional resources to calling them out and joining others in this effort.

One group also shining a light on insurance companies is the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN). Different parts of the health care justice movement focus on different priorities and wage different battles. UHCAN's national conference calls and alerts help leaders of national, state, and local advocacy groups stay up-to-date about what each other is doing and help provide perspective of how these efforts fit into the bigger picture. UHCAN keeps the broad spectrum of the health care justice movement connected, from supporters of the Affordable Care Act to single payer advocates, as well as labor unions and others working for social justice.

Every month, UHCAN exposes insurance companies' efforts to game the system for the sake of profits. In fact, I frequently participate in their calls to share the latest news and analysis in "The Potter Report," speaking to folks I might not otherwise reach -- a broad range of grassroots health care justice leaders who regularly listen in and also contribute to these calls. UHCAN strengthens the work all of us do and keeps everyone in the broader movement working together and moving forward.

Today, traditional health reform funders are directing their money to outreach and enrollment in coverage. While that work is vitally important, the need for advocacy did not end with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. As I have said many times, the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of reform. We must not focus solely on ACA implementation while ignoring the corrosive effect many insurance companies have on our health care system.

Sadly, funding for health care advocacy that seeks to keep insurance companies in check has virtually disappeared given private funders' current emphasis on outreach about the ACA and enrollment into its new coverage options for the uninsured. As a result, UHCAN's work, including the organization's monthly conference calls, may soon have to end. It would be a shame to lose UHCAN as it helps me and others do our work. It needs your financial help so it can continue to help us push forward to achieve health care for all.

Please join me and donate to UHCAN to make sure we don't lose this vital organization. For more information on UHCAN, visit, and be sure to click the "donate" button while you're there.