Salt Lake City Drinking Liberally

Promoting democracy in Utah one pint at a time.

July 15, 2009

Bill Moyers Journal: Wendell Potter former head of CINGA PR

If you would like to read the interview transcript, visit PBS.org.

BILL MOYERS: Well, on the basis of the past performance, and on the basis of your own experience in the industry, can we believe them when they say they will do these things voluntarily?

WENDELL POTTER: I don’t think you can. I think that they will implement things that make them more efficient. And that enhance shareholder value. And if what they do contributes to that, maybe so. But now, they do say, they are in favor of an individual mandate. They want us all to be insured.

BILL MOYERS: For the government to require every one of us to have some policy.

WENDELL POTTER: Exactly. And that sounds great. It is an important thing that everyone be enrolled in some kind of a benefit plan. They don’t want a public plan. They want all the uninsured to have to be enrolled in a private insurance plan. They want– they see those 50 million people as potentially 50 million new customers. So they’re in favor of that. They see this as a way to essentially lock them into the system, and ensure their profitability in the future. The strategy is as it was in 1993 and ’94, to conduct this charm offensive on the surface. But behind the scenes, to use front groups and third-party advocates and ideological allies. And those on Capitol Hill who are aligned with them, philosophically, to do the dirty work. To demean and scare people about a government-run plan, try to make people not even remember that Medicare, their Medicare program, is a government-run plan that has operated a lot more efficiently.

And also, the people who are enrolled in our Medicare plan like it better. The satisfaction ratings are higher in our Medicare program, a government-run program, than in private insurance. But they don’t want you to remember that or to know that, and they want to scare you into thinking that through the anecdotes they tell you, that any government-run system, particularly those in Canada, and UK, and France that the people are very unhappy.

And that these people will have to wait in long lines to get care, or wait a long time to get care. I’d like to take them down to Wise County. I’d like the president to come down to Wise County, and see some real lines of Americans, standing in line to get their care.

The plan Wendell Potter warns us about is already in Congress.  It’s called the “Healthy Americans Act” and it was introduced by Ron Wyden and Robert Bennett.  What it will do–if passed–is require everyone to buy a corporate health insurance policy.

by @ 10:17 am. Filed under Group News, National Issues

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