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October 13th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Ex-insider: Insurance industry report is bogus

The Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill got high marks from the Congressional Budget Office for keeping the deficit down, but now insurance companies say it will actually cost you and your family thousands of dollars more than you’re paying now.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/13/potter.wendell.art.jpg caption="Wendell Potter says the insurance industry has been disingenuous from the beginning of the health care reform debate."]

Wendell Potter worked for two different insurance companies in the past, and now he's working against them to help get reform passed. He says the claims from this new report from an insurance industry trade group are just not true.

Potter spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday. Below is an edited transcript of that interview.

John Roberts: On March 5th, at a White house conference on health care reform, Karen Ignani, who is the president and CEO of AHIP – American's Health Insurance Plans – stands up and addresses the president. She says, “We want to work with you. We want to work with the members of Congress on a bipartisan basis here. You have our commitment.”

So just six months ago, Wendell, there was American's Health Insurance Plans standing up, saying we want to work with you on health care reform. Just yesterday they came out with this study, this PricewaterhouseCoopers report, which is a scathing criticism of the so-called Baucus Bill in the Senate Finance Committee. What changed between then and now?

Wendell Potter: You know, what happened on that March day – that summit at the White House – was what made me decide to become a critic of the industry, because that was the beginning of their charm offensive, the part of the PR campaign that they want us to see, they want us to hear. And what we saw – what we're seeing now is the other side of that; their efforts behind the scenes and now more publicly to defeat reform. And it's all an effort to try to shape reform, if they can, or kill it if they can, but shape it for their benefit and at the benefit of Wall Street shareholders, more than Americans.

Roberts: Are you suggesting that Karen Ignagni was being disingenuous during that meeting?

Potter: I think the industry has been disingenuous from the beginning of this debate. They have never had any intention of being good faith partners with the president and Congress. And I know this from having been a part of many, many efforts over the past 20 years, almost, to defeat reform, or to help shape reform to the industry's benefit. And I was a part of some of the efforts to plan this very campaign.

Roberts: AHIP’s initial problem was with the public option, which is not in the Senate bill, but now they're saying, wait a minute, there aren't stiff enough penalties for people who don't buy health insurance. That's the new beef. What's that all about?

Potter: You know, it's an argument – it's probably the best case that I've heard from anybody why we need a public health insurance option. What they're saying is, in fact, they bought and paid for this report from an outfit, you know, that's worked for them and done many reports like this over many years. They've taken selective parts of the bill – not even bothering to read the full bill or take some other elements into consideration – and are claiming that the bill, if enacted, would raise premiums. It's nonsense. It would not work the way that they're saying. In fact, one of the authors admitted, apparently late yesterday, that they did not take into consideration other important elements of the bill.

Roberts: So let me stop you there and just drill down on this claim that they're making, that the health care bill that's now in the Senate Finance Committee would add hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to the cost of a health insurance package for most people and families. You're saying that that's just not true?

Potter: It's just not true, because they're taking the parts of the bill that the industry now does not like. What the Finance Committee did, fortunately, toward the end of last week was reduce some of the very, very severe penalties that the insurance industry wanted to have in the bill that would be assessed against us if we decide we don't want to buy their overpriced and inadequate products that are often nothing more than fake insurance.

Roberts: So how do they go forward and make such a claim if it's just patently not true?

Potter: Because they can. Because they know they can often get away with it and they know that they've got a lot of shills on Capitol Hill. One thing we'll be able to see over the next, you know, today and the coming days, is whether or not people will be revealing themselves as the industry shills by quoting from this bogus report.

Roberts: All right. So if it comes down to a fight between America's Health Insurance Plans and the White House, who do you think is going to win?

Potter: My money's on the White House on this one, because I think that the people are behind the White House and the Congress and I think the industry knows that. This is a desperation move on the part of the insurance industry, because analysts are now somewhat concerned – Wall Street analysts – that the bill may not be absolutely, everything that the industry wants, and that's what's driving this – Wall Street's expectations that this bill may not be everything they'd hoped and prayed for.

Roberts: And you said this is the greatest argument for a public option that you have heard to date, but do you think this could breathe new life into the idea of a public option?

Potter: I think it already is. From what I'm hearing, people who have been trying and working really in good faith to get legislation passed are now knowing that a public option is one of the most important ways to try to keep this industry honest. Without the public option, you know, these companies will continue to have the free reign they've had over the last several years, and they will, indeed, raise our prices, our premiums to the point that we can't afford them and more and more people will be in the ranks of the underinsured.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Joel

    Potter, who seems to be in favor of Obamacare, said: "What the Finance Committee did, fortunately, toward the end of last week was reduce some of the very, very severe penalties that the insurance industry wanted to have in the bill that would be assessed against us if we decide we don’t want to buy their overpriced and inadequate products that are often nothing more than fake insurance."

    Why is no one else picking up on the fact that the requirement that people buy health insurance is a huge give-away by the Democrats to the insurance companies, at the behest of the insurance companies, for the benefit of the insurance companies. The Democrats claim to stand for favoring people over big corporations, but they're doing the exact opposite. As a favor to the insurance companies, the Democrats want to force individuals to purchase "overpriced and inadequate products that are often nothing more than fake insurance" so that the insurance companies will make higher profits. Why am I not surprised?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  2. Andy

    I'd just like to point out for everyone that people claiming that Mr. Potter was about to be fired and thus has an ax to grind are making a logical fallacy by attacking the bias of a source instead of the facts he claims to be true. From Wikipedia, "The reason that this is fallacious in syllogistic logic is that pointing out that one's opponent is disposed to make a certain argument does not make the argument, from a logical point of view, any less credible."

    Essentially they are saying:
    Person 1 makes claim X
    There is something objectionable about Person 1
    Therefore claim X is false

    It goes the other way, however, that we shouldn't believe someone on the sole basis that they are authoritative. That takes the form:
    Source A says that p.
    Source A is authoritative.
    Therefore, p is true.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  3. fatbaby

    Wow, I am now feeling a lot better after reading Jay's comment below about 300% increase in his insurance premium. Mine almost went up 30% but after a negotiation it was lowered to about 20%. But anyway I had to choose a lower level plan because of the cost. How much am I paying now? About 10K for a family of 4 for a year. That does not include the premium paid by my company. And I learned that I am better off than most of Americans! I still need to pay a lot whenever I see the doctor. For a flu shot, for example, I had to go to the CVS because it costs less! We need to do something. This is not right. Shame on Ins. Co.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Union Baby

    This is a great article, there is no industry more crooked than the health insurance industry, I have worked in patient billing, I have worked for insurance companies who sell (but don't process the claims) health insurance, let me tell you, my premiums go up every year, my deductibles go up every year, my co payments go up every year and they pay my doctor less money every year. I am employed by the 2nd largest employer in our state, we have over 20,000 employes, when you add dependents to that number we are a very large insurance pool, but instead of getting better insurance that costs less we get worse coverage that costs more every year, and I'd much rather my money go to pay my doctor than anyone in the health insurance industry. Did you know they are instructed to throw away every 5th claim that comes in (regardless of electronic or old fashioned mail)? This causes your doctor's office to refile, you get frustrated and pay the bill anyway, and the health insurance crooks laugh at you all the way to the bank.
    We must have a public option, it may not make the health insurance industry more honest (not sure anything can except dismantalment) but it is a good start, if we can't have a public option then bring back good old fashioned regulation – these jokers have been on the loose far too long.
    The devil may be an attorney, but the devil's handmande is surely the health insurance industry and all the CEO's who run them.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Lou

    the insurance industry has been a big rip off for years. Its time the American people realize, he insurance companies are in for the money only, not concern about any one else

    October 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  6. Charla

    How could anyone believe that the cost of insurance would NOT go up? If the insurance carriers have to take ANYONE with ANY kind of condition at ANY time, and the government doesn't make EVERYONE get insurance then the only ones that will take it are the ones who are sick and need it. The young people that are needed to keep the cost down are not going to take it. They will pay the small tax penalty to keep from having to pay the premiums. If we are to have TRUE reform, then there must be some teeth in the individual mandate. The Senate plan keeps pulling those teeth, one by one.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  7. WAS

    QingJiang and Cheryl you need to do your homework. In the First Place, most doctors must carry Malpractice Insurance that costs them thousands of dollars a year. If a doctor does not carry any insurance, they are a fool for not doing so. You obviously don't know what you are talking about if you think the majority of the medical community arbitrarily sets prices; not so. We all agree that we need to reign insurance companies in and have reform, but I would advise all of you who think this article is so factual, to get the facts. Of course prices will go up and you all are fools if you think medical care will improve if there is a public option, it's called socialized medicine. Why do you think so many people from Canada, and other countries with socialized medicine, want to come to the US to be treated, Do you think it's because we have better medical care? QJ your comment about Christianity is not only irresponsible but totally idiotic and as a liberal Democrat without a brain, you should learn how to put a sentence together and then how to communicate that message, but then you are a democrat aren't you.........

    October 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  8. tdogg

    davel-your lack of knowledge is showing, the post office is not run by the government.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  9. Roy E. Purdy (Ph.D. ABD)

    Good Afternoon, Mr. Potter is absolute right. The US Healthcare system was not designed to provide health care to every US citizen.

    In an article written by Elizabeth Olson published in The New York Times, October 17, 2008 the CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) states that one of their objectives is to make healthcare more affordable.

    However, he states that the cost of health care will not go down. The BCBSA's goal is to control the rising cost of health care, so that health care cost rise no faster than anyother good or service.

    The Laws of Supply and Demand will prevent the BCBSA from accomplishing their goal because of the aging US population, the increase in diabetes and obesity which are three of the top categories that use healthcare services, it will be virtually impossible to influence the utilization of these groups without significant financial incentives.

    The negative financial incentive is to raise premiums and more US citizens will go without healthcare.

    The positive incentive will be a proactive approach that the healthcare industry knows but will not share with the general population.

    In 2004, the cost of providing health care services to a healthy patient was approximately $2,450.00 dollars, while the cost of providing health care services to a paient with diabetes was approximately $13, 450.00 dollars.

    One viable way to reduce the cost of healthcare is to provide the incentive for employers to help the employees get health by providing a strategic action plan as part of the annual corporate goals to become healthy which will reduce the company healthcare cost and the National Healthcare cost.

    The BCBSA CEO also goes on to state that 30 % of the healthcare care services provided today are redundant and in some cases harmful. In today's $2.4 Trillion dollar healthcare system $700 Billion (that amount equals a Bailout) is considered waste or harmful healthcare services.

    From the Insurance companies prespective that $700 Billion is profit. The insurance companies have been making that amount of profit for decades.

    That is why the insurance industries lobbiest are the most influencial lobbiest in the country.

    As I stated in my prievous emails, the other US Presidents who tried to expand health care sevices and failed are: Roosevelt, Truman, Nixion, Carter, Kennedy and Clinton.

    If someone would share this information with the US citizens, The debate on the needed health care reform would be a done deal.

    Thanks,
    Roy

    October 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  10. Bruce in VA

    Think about it for a moment. The whole Obama healthcare promise is this: You'll get more, for less, and we'll cover a lot of people that currently don't have insurance, and we won't tax the middle class, etc. etc. Sounds like way too much of a good thing to me.

    Now I hear Obama commercials for healthcare that talk about no pre-existing conditions and no lifetime maximums. The no pre-existing conditions only helps if there is sufficient pressure for everyone to get insurance. But I understand that some of the punitive features of the current committee bill have been watered down. And if ceilings are eliminated (i.e., no maximums), then of course the coverage is going to cost a bit more.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  11. Carl

    It's the COST OF CARE that drives your premium prices. Check the financial statements for health insurance companies. Profit margins are beloe 5%. Now check the financial statements for drug companies, medical supply companies, look at the salary of your local doctor. That is where 82-85% of your premium is going. another 12% is admin cost to keep your information, pay your claims.
    Potter is a weasel that left the insurance industry several years ago. My insurance company rewards me for healthy lifestyle and provides me with information to make good choices about my lifestyle and my benefits. If yours is not, then you need to switch.

    I suggest everyone try to be their own insurance company with their neighbors. Everyone that wants to participate, pays into claims pool, everyone is healthy and the pool of money grows. Now watch what happens to your pool of money when the one neighbor that hasn't been paying finds out he has cancer and now wants into your insurance to cover his expensive drugs and treatments. He will quickly consume all your claims pool, leaving nothing for you to pay for your annual checkup.
    That's what you are asking the insurance companies to absorb.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  12. randall

    thanks Potter, its easier to trust you because you left the insurance industry and do not have any bad feelings toward your old bosses! come on, you call this news, how can you trust a guy who has nothing to lose, but fame to gain by speaking out. I don't trust a word he says

    October 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Vickster

    Michael Larson,

    If you are putting your trust in Insurance companies and the Republican party, you just feel sorry for you. really really sorry for you.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  14. Jarhead

    Well OF COURSE the health industry's opposition is inaccurate, wrong and unAmerican–why??? Because ONN ( Obama News Network) –former CNN--said so. That's enough–according to the sources from On High with the Annointed One.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  15. rose

    A public option is very important because insurance companies are all about profit. I know someone who worked in the claims department and he was expected to find ways to deny claims. He quit working there. It was too hard to deal with. A public option would force them to be honest.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  16. Donna

    Garrick.....fox news IS biased.... you need to research the lobbyists for pharmaceutical companies, the health insurance companies and the antics of both... from paying their claims payers to reject claims and cancel insurance and paying politicians and making the execs wealthier at your and my expense... and, sadly my expense is that a surgeon was told I did not have insurance AND I DID ... but cancer spread and should not have.. now I don't know my prognosis until chemo works...if/when it works... THAT SUX but United Health Care wins again

    October 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  17. Nobody N. Particular

    Kevin October 13th, 2009 11:36 am ET

    ANSWER: The US Post Office, they actually make money.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  18. Brian D

    Although I agree that we have little reason to trust insurance companies, and I would rather see Obama and Congress succeed in their goals than the insurance companies, I believe that any meaningful reform will be hard to come by if we do not address one fundamental problem. We as Americans need to live healthier lives, and thus reduce demand for health care. Compared to most other developed countries, we do many weird things on a day to day basis: We walk in our homes without removing our shoes. We have "hot dogs", or "steak" for dinner or lunch, instead of having "rice" or "bread" for meals that is flavored with chopped pieces of meat and vegetable (cf. food pyramid). We drink cold soft drinks. The coldness disguises how much sugar is ingested. We are in artificial climate control too much. We should not be so quick to use heat and AC, but instead, dress appropriately for the weather. We should be more careful to let fresh air into our homes, and so on.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  19. Roy, Springfiled, IL

    I think it's important to remember that a good healthy debate on any subject is needed. However, what I see on the news and on blogs is a great divide among the American people. Not only that we disagree but, that each side must belittle, disgrace, and call each other names. Sounds like the play ground. The health care debate needs to be discussed among respectful and caring people. The best Health care for all American people should be something we all want. The system is broke. It's not just the insurance companies; it's the whole medical field. You can't fix one part and allow the other parts to continue as before. Health care shouldn't from my point of view be a for profit industry. How many of us have had problems with doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and getting prescriptions? I don’t care what your politics is! Take a look at the number of people that have insurance and still have to file for medical bankruptcy! Take a look at what your hospital, doctor, or local pharmacy charges for basic services! No, we don’t need health care reform. We need Tort reform! Or so, that appears to be what we’ve been told. That it’s the patients vault. I don’t believe that for a minute. Scrap the whole system and start from scratch!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  20. Suriah

    Okay, first Michael Larsen- did you read what you just said??? You trust CORPORATIONS and REPUBLICANS to know what is best for your family, please please tell me you are kidding! How could you trust any government or business entity to know what is best for your family, sounds like a cop-out on responsibility for you.

    Also, to all of the people saying a public option will push out all competition and destroy all the insurance companies– please take a look at higher education. Think about it- have the state-supported colleges around the country put the private schools out of business?? I think not. So why is it that you think health care would be different. All public universities do is provide another option for people to study for degrees, they certainly don't put private colleges out of the running or force them to close down. How has this put them at risk?

    My favorite was a clip of a student from the University of Colorado at a town-hall meeting. He stood up and shouted at the senator how he was an economics student and that if a public option was offered it would put insurance companies out of business and destroy the market. ummm.....HELLO! Seems like he is doing fine with the PUBLIC OPTION for higher education, studying at one of the finest universities in the country, with ZERO financial impact on the private universities. WAKE UP and think for yourselves, use some common sense!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  21. Liz in Monterey, CA

    I am PRE-diabetic. I have federal employee's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is pretty good. Even this plan, however, does NOT cover most of the meds that help me move from PRE-diabetes to non risk. One of the meds my doc gives me samples of and I'm making remarkable progress out of the danger of becoming diabetic. But BC/BS will ONLY pay for these IF I am already a diabetic. Jez....again, no interest by insurance companies in PREVENTION-just in getting high dollar from insured individuals for high cost meds ONCE they dont' get the preventitive measures. Is there ANY sense of morality left in the insurance industry? Go President Obama and team....fight these charlatans on every move and win a public option for health care! And brave Mr. Potter tells the truth....I have no doubt. Bravo for you sir!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  22. BillMmelb

    Mr Potter: Hang in there! You may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders but that really is not true. Truth has its own power that you can use and feel (you already have!) Your decision to let the truth be told and to aggressively go after untruths and manipulation is going to help thousand – MILLIONS – of people. Thank you for doing what you are doing!

    The Republicans would have us believe that the wealthier and better-off you become, the more selfish you need to be. You are shining example of what REAL Christian (or t ethical) citizen would be doing to help his or her country – helping others who are not as fortunate as you.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  23. Indiana Jim

    A public option or a non-profit coop are the only ideas out there that will actually make health insurance cheaper. Will they end up running the insurance companies out of business? Probably. Do I care? No. Consider how much harm that letting the insurance companies' rates go out of control has caused American citizens, and both large and small businesses. We must have health care, and we shouldn't be losing our homes to pay for it.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  24. Jim - Philadelphia

    I am willing to bet that all of the nay-sayers on this comments section work for an insurance company. Americans would have to be bigger idiots than those that vote Republican to believe the garbage that the insurance companies put out. Way to go Mr. Potter.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  25. Bill in SC

    Insurance–the product that helps cover you for costs you cannot afford to incur at one time. My wife suffered a severe leg break (6 fractures/shattered tibia) a few months ago. Total bills from PROVIDERS have been $150,000. Now...my insurance company has refused to pay the PROVIDERS approximately 50% of the bills because they are EXCESSIVE. Good job insurance. My balances are what I signed on for, a deductible and co-pay I can afford. IF I did not have insurance I would be liable for the entire BOGUS CHARGES FROM PROVIDERS.

    If we want to fix something, fix the tax laws that allow incredible write offs for paper values.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  26. sergio bricco

    To Mike Larsen

    Ok lets think of what your second sentance is. Someone in your family get cancer, and your insurance company now says," you know what that will cost way too much" your can't afford insurance else where because its now a pre-existing condition. You own a home, lose it because you can't afford to pay for meds or dr visits, now what ?

    you can't let a insurance company dictate what you need !! would you let an automaker tell you that you need a sports car when you have a family of 6 ?

    think again Mike

    October 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  27. Donna

    If people would stop and think and realize how insurance premiums have skyrocketed in the last 8 years and how much money the lobbyists pay to MANY Politiicans... the republicans are not eager to give up those incomes.... is all about greed and money at the MIDDLE CLASS guy's expense... we should all be uspet with that.

    The poor get poorer and the head honchoes get wealthier... and send income in many cases off shore and PAY NO TAXES anyone else not happy about that? I AM

    October 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  28. J W Simms

    Why should all of this seem so difficult? If the Government would price cap the cost per gallon of gasoline at the pump, tax gasoline at 5-10 cents per gallon, require the price gouging oil companies to pay the same amount toward public health care, all Americans would have the ultimate in health care at very little individual cost.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  29. cody

    I am still trying to figure out where the 829 billion is coming from. Health care reform is a good idea but just like the american people, the white house is going to have to realize you can't have what you can't afford. Americans have been living beyond their means for too long and this recession has taught some a lesson but the government needs to learn and learn fast or we are all going to be in trouble.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  30. Alan

    If the whole INSURANCE INDUSTRY failed tomorrow, frankly we would be better off.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  31. Raymax

    He is right on the money about this issue. Health Insurance companies are in cahoots with both old time Republicans and Democrats. These corrupt servants are more concerned of their pockets. I am hoping the White House will prevail. Republicans are back again with their fear mongering tactics. This is their last ditch effort to preserve their ideology of small government and bigger kickbacks.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  32. Jim Martin

    Some things that don't make sense to me about health insurance:

    It really is not insurance but is a way to pay for continuing maintenance of one's health. We don't call oil changes "car insurance", so why do we call annual health checkups "health insurance". I think of insurance as being a way to pay for losses that an individual can't afford. Would health insurance have lower premiums if it were an insurance policy instead of a maintenance plan and would this change not put more responsibility on individuals to negotiate with their doctors and hospitals?

    Why does my Blue Cross health insurance policy always tell me that my doctor billed, let's say, $100 and the insurance company would only pay him $75 so they saved me $25 while my doctor will charge me less than $75 if I just pay him when I get my checkup?

    Why would it not be desirable if every person in the USA had health insurance which would cause potentially expensive pre-existing conditions to be distributed randomly among all insurance companies? Would this not cause insurance companies to compete with each other on premium prices and service rather than competing on their ability to exclude potentially expensive problems?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  33. Dave From Canada

    I'm from Canada. I have used hospitals and doctors many times. Sometimes I have to wait an hour before a doctor sees me, unless in an emergency. Our health care is not perfect, but I have never met or heard of someone having to fight in court for treatment. I have never head of or met a person who has gone into debt or bankruptcy because they got sick. It sounds to me like you medical industry has been hijacked by greed. Good for you for beginning this fight, I hope you win, but it'll be very, very up hill.
    Next time someone calls you a socialist or communist for wanting public health care. Ask them how they'd feel about firefighters and police being private, where they'll let you get robbed or let your house burn to the ground if you didn't pay.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  34. rolandc

    This guy worked for two insurance companies in the past and according to his own statement, he was paid to lie or cover up supposable the wrong doing of the insurance companies. Now he's on the payroll of the US Government, so why should we believe him now.
    It suggests to me that whoever cuts the check that he cashes every week is the employer he will lie for.
    Down economy, he needs his paycheck.
    What would you do?
    I don't believe him.....
    Roland – Chicago

    October 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  35. dan

    lets go regular americans take it back. we dont need the fake protection that they claim to provide...

    October 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  36. tconroy

    Are you kidding me? Mr. Potter is acusing the Insurance sector of taking "selective parts of the bill – not even bothering to read the full bill or take some other elements into consideration"? No one in the Senate reads, or even writes the bills these days...most are crooks and crimals

    October 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  37. garrick

    And people think that Fox News is biased??? This sounds like a press release from the White House, and this is exactly why I don't watch CNN any more.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  38. Linda

    Sorry, Bob, you're not making any sense. How could the insurance company make a profit out of money they PAY OUT to the doctors & hospitals for claims? Will someone explain that to me?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  39. Churchill

    The rich is supposed to get richer and the poor, poorer. For the poor, even the little he has should be taken from him and given to those who already have. This is the way it was meant to be. The poor; just give up. For the rich, hurray!!!. CAPITALISM....

    October 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  40. Jack

    I have worked for over 30 years, at different jobs. Each company I worked for had health insurance and I always opted in because that's what you did. But most companies can only choose one provider. So now you're stuck changing doctors each time you change jobs. So what happened to all the money I poored into the other insurance company all those years I wasn't sick? Do I get that back? Nope, they pocket it. Or, if you use their terminology, they spread the costs out with everyone. Yeah, I believe that when each of the owners and stock holders are making millions each year. Spread the wealth among a few. Oh! And not only do I have to shell out $40 (minimum) at each doctor visit I still have to pay the insurance company close to a hundred dollars a week out of my paycheck! Add to that most companies also pay some of the premium and you have a luxury car payment each month, but instead it's going to the health insurance owners. I am a proud American, and a Republican, and I want a One-Payer system... NOW!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  41. Deej

    Public insurance compainies have loyalty TO THE SHARE HOLDER ONLY, it's profit driven, think again if you think you're a top priority with your carrier. Todays system is wrong, I love the statement that if you get sick, hope you die quickly, cause if you don't it will ruin you. Remember the days when you walked in with an issue, paid your copay, and that was it? I just had an injuury, went in and paid my copays, then got more bills, and more bills, and notices that I needed to contact some company because "maybe it was work related" (what part of "occured at home" don't you understand?). Anybody that thinks the status quo is fine should pray they or someone in their family doesn't get seriously ill. The greedy field day of this industry must come to an end!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  42. dj

    Insurance companies report to investors, not voters. Critical services like the police and fire dept. are under government control simply because they are too important to leave to private industry. Health insurance companies are interested in selling policies to the healthy, not prolonging the lives of sick patients. Tort lawyers are interested in highly profitable cases against rich companies. Hope you don't fall into the cracks.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  43. warren king

    if I'am reading this right the insurance companies (lobby) are telling
    us how much so called premiums will go up if this bill is put into law
    can they or will they tell us what the costs will be if a new bill is not
    enacted?how come no one is asking that question?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  44. bg

    I don't need Mr Potter to tell me that without a strong gov't option we're at the mercy of an industry whose primary objective is profit maximization. If the insurance industry acted in the public interest in any way, shape, or form the howls of protest from their shareholders would be deafening.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  45. Aubrey

    All these comments here downplaying Mr. Potter's comments... do you honestly think this man has any sort of evil agenda? I don't care if he "has an axe to grind" with his former employers, especially if that's the worst of it. He is not out to take anything away from me or you like the health insurance companies are. They don't care about anything but money- for themselves that is! Anyone with any sort of intelligence knows this report is bogus, turned out the day before the vote so that the people it fools call their congressmen and ask for them to not support health insurance reform.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  46. Dave D.

    As many have stated already, less people buying primiums means that their premiums would have to increase to occomodate the decrease in income.
    What they failed to state was that the amount of primeums that would drop their coverage isn't going to be all that drastic. Most get coverage through their job and while some small businesses may switch to the public option, most larger ones probably won't.
    Not only that but what most people don't know is that people covered by insurace ALREADY pay for the people who can't pay. See, hospitals and doctors bill insurance companies a higher rate then individuals. This is called "Self Pay". The higher rate covers the cost of people who either can't pay or can't be identified. Normally this is in relation to hospital emergency rooms, which take anyone and everyone without a requirement of payment. And if that person is a homeless man who got shot in a gang war... Well, someone's gotta pay for his treatment and it's the insurance companies, which in turn means YOU. Same goes for Ambulance calls from poor, uninsured people who don't visit a doctor.
    Remember this: it costs more to send an ambulance to someone's house then it does for that person to go see their doctor. And before you ask me What I mean by that, ask an EMT how many calls they get from poor people who just want a checkup.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  47. sergio bricco

    Sounds like they want the consumer to pad their wallets at our expense. Then when we need the insurance they will simply say " pre existing" "too costly" and dump us. Isn't that what we were hearing foreverMy question would be. What is the insurance option. What your plan if the WH and senate and congress is wrong. You come up with a plan that will not cost us an arm and leg ???????

    Good business (public option)is to make a profit. Better business(insurance companies) is to make a hugh profit and cut services. Whom would you chose ? The public option or the insurance company

    October 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  48. Robert

    Brilliant post, Steve!

    Stever wrote:

    Nobody seems to get it…supply and demand. As we dole out insurance to all, demand will go up. As the baby boomers age, both demand will go up and supply will go down. The result is the unit price of healthcare will absolutely go up.

    What about eliminating health insurance completely? Why do you think Lasik eye surgery and cosmetic surgeries are relatively inexpensive compared to like surgeries covered by health insurance??? Because they have to compete in the market place for your dollars! Most people spend less than $1,000/year in medical expenses; few people spend more than $10,000. Why not eliminate medical insurance and have the government pay for claims over $5,000 for low income and $10,000 for middle income and not at all for high income? Anyone that has a claim under their cap is paying for preventive care, a minor illness, or for a claim due to their own lifestyle choices. My model will cause utilization to go down, encourage Americans to be healthier, cover all and lower the unit cost of healthcare. Obviously there are other details to work out, but the main idea is sound. As baby boomers retire, the vacuum could be filled with former insurance industry workers.

    By the way, I am an insurance broker…

    October 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  49. T. Smith

    Mike Larsen must be a insurance executive because he sure sounds like one. Shame on you for being so selfish and not thinking of others. What if you had a child born with a disability or cancer and was denied insurance because of this condition – how would you feel? People like you make it bad for the rest of this country. All other developed countries are able to provide medical coverage for all, the US should be able to afford this necessity also. This is not a luxury and should not be treated as such – did you hear that Mike Larsen.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  50. Mel

    larry s. and jeff of perioa and etc? if you have ever experinced a prob. when you do have insurance you would not be so quick to say how insurance works, speak from experince or don't speak at all. What do you think your cost is when you pay your ins. premiums and then still get denied , except for the nickle and dime stuff, then have to pay the doctor and the hospital and labs? Do you really belive insurance is honest, they are in business to MAKE MONEY. We can pay a slight increase if necesarry because you pay that even with insurance with their denials/dropped coverage/pre existing cond./etc. DO THE MATH. I would pay a slight increase for HONEST coverage. Now what you are forgetting is that you will be paying a WHOLE lot more if ins. co. run their course. And who do you think pays for the people now that don't have ins. ? they have to go to emergancy rooms or doctors anyway and then not pay, so it's absorbed by the industry who in turn has no choice but to raise cost to offset that loss. Figure it out, use your head, we NEED change and we NEED an honest option. So Honest Option=One Payor system (or now we have already compromised to "public option" ).

    October 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  51. Garland

    For those of you that are saying Mr. Potter was getting ready to get fired, you LIE! He was sick of seeing what the industry was doing to their customers. He has been discussing this for more than a year before this ever came to the public discussion. THANK YOU MR. POTTER......
    Michael Larsen: It's Republicans like you that turned me into a Liberal. Hope you party takes care of you if you ever need them, but guess what, THEY WON'T because they all are for themselves only.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  52. Jack Certer

    Mr. Potter deserves the Nobel Prize for Honesty. Way to go. He should be the top health care adviser to the Prez.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  53. Art

    If Insurance companies are for it, consumers should be against it. It really is that simple. See what your representatives do & you'll where their priorities lie.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  54. GaryB

    I think Potter is just stating the obvious. Insurance companies exist to make a profit. Their interest is in making as big a profit as possible. That's why they'v spent a lot of money to buy a lot of politicians (the majority of which are Republicans). It's just good business. What cracks me up is all these fools who are afraid of government death panel and other such nonsense. Who do you think controls your fate now? If the insurance comapany death panels decide that it's too expensive to save you or your loved one's life at some point, it's just good business.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  55. Sam B

    Mr. Potter is an eye opener. He knows the corporate mentality of the health insurance industry. What many Americans are trying to understand is – what benefits does the health insurance industry bring to the table? If there were no health insurance companies Americans would save enormous amounts on their premiums as in a single payer system. And in such a system the mess of forms that currently frustrate doctors and hospitals would be substantially reduced.

    Single payer is REAL reform.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  56. People over greed

    It's sad, in this great country, the greed of so many individuals and companies on Wall Street takes precedence on all citizens welfare. It seems as long as the wealthy, and manipulative insurance companies, get their way. That's all that matters to them. Yes, they will try to stop reform, because it hurts their bottom line. I don't know why this seems to be such a surprise to John Roberts, and many others of the media, who apparently believed them when they said they work toward reform. What ever happened to this country? It seems, to me, as long as Wall Street is doing good, we are all supposed to be happy? Guess what. The VAST majority of Americans are hurting right now. And those that are not, are barely getting by. Wall Street, and greed, can not keep America's economy going. If the masses are down, an overblown market will not prop it up. Like all balloons, the over inflated greed will burst. The greedy individuals/companies need to put the welfare of all citizens as a priority. Then, and only then, will the markets sustain gains, and the economy truly remain stable.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  57. David

    To davel: if the Government colapsed tomorrow, we would not have food inspections, there would be no border patrol or customs agents, no FBI or DEA, we would not have air traffic control, there would be no new highways, people living in rural areas would have no mail service, flu shots would be $500, if you can get them, don't drink the ater, your children woud have to attend private schools, when you are mugged call the cops? What cops, they are government employees along with fire fighters. Try to get to work without traffic lights or stop signs and forget any speed limits, remember, there are no cops. And last but not least, who would defend out borders from attack, Rush Limbaugh, a drug abuser draft dodger?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  58. Ian M Gumby

    Who can you trust these days because its now acceptable to lie and do what it takes to con people to your point of view. Don't just blame the insurance industry, blame those in Congress too who use numbers to spin any story they want.

    The truth is that we need health care reform, however nothing in front of Congress is acceptable because it is getting rushed through and not enough thought is going in to their decision.

    Where is the tort reform that will reduce health care costs by allowing doctors to stop doing unnecessary tests that they do to protect themselves from potential litigation. Also this will reduce the amount spent on malpractice insurance, yet another unseen cost in doing business.

    The short, simple truth is that we want the best health care possible and we want it affordable. So lets start with doing a few changes in the laws that will open up the industry to competition. We don't need a massive overhaul. Especially one that can either increase the costs to small businesses or increase or taxes.

    Take smaller steps but take them when it makes sense.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  59. Chris

    If anyone believes health care companies have any other interest than improving their bottom line, you are a fool.

    Congress needs to shut out the HC lobbyist, and draft legislation that is in the best interest of America. I understand that will be a refreshing change of pace for them, but I am sure it is possible.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  60. Franklin E. Dennis

    Unbridled greed is the fundemental problem with the health insurance industry. That and no incentives to be efficient in handling claims. If you read their financial statements you will find their employees have every fringe benefit known to mankind including fully paid post retirement health care coverage. I do not believe the folks paying the premiums enjoy that level of comfort. Congress needs to put the health insurance industry's testicles in a vise to cure the heath insurance crisis. The states including Virginia have utterly failed to rein in these people or th insurance industry as whole for that matter. It is the wild west. Wrenchbender6

    October 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  61. Lammy

    Mr. Potter's does not explain the basis for any of the assertions he makes in the interview. Regardless of which side you are on in this health care debate, the article represents very poor journalism – I do not know anything more about the insurance industry's claims now than I did before reading the article.

    Someone help us all!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  62. Matt Thornton

    A public option is a necessary option to keep the Health Insurance Companies honest, which they have proven over and over that they will not be without sever regulation.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  63. Sandy

    Mr. Potter, you are my hero! Please keep it up for the sake of all Americans.

    I recently saw an editorial page cartoon that summed it up so well ... it showed a mob of people trying to fight the government on the health care bill and between them both was the "elephant in the room" ... the big insurance and pharmacy companies. Who has the most to lose in this debate? They do!

    Also, these companies have made HUGE contributions to the campaign chests of some the congressmen and senators who are putting together the health care bill!

    Americans! Beware!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  64. Retired Canadian

    I am a retired Canadian living in British Columbia, Canada. My monthly pension is quite low, and because of this my B.C. government Medical Services Plan coverage is free. That includes visits to my doctor, and any medical services I might need such as ambulance, hospitalization and/or operations. It also covers about 90% of my prescription medication costs. Once my prescription costs reach a certain level each year, they become 100% free. This same basic plan is available in every province of Canada, and participation is mandatory after 90-days of residency in any province. This is the link to that plans home page, where you can see for yourself what the TRUE facts are. http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/index.html

    Don't believe anything the insurance industry is saying, as they are dinosaurs who are trying to protect their cash cow, which is the public.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  65. Lawmarkus

    HJA- "To profit on people's illness and misfortune is pure evil". Really? So doctors, nurses, therapists and other care givers all go into the business of medicine solely to help people without any thought of being paid for their services? Hey, let's all go to work today to heal people, and not get paid for it, because that would be pure evil.

    Idiot.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  66. Mike

    So how do the insurance companies screw us? I had surgery this year that the medical community said cost 90K but after I got the negotiated insurance price, it cost about 30K. My part was 6K. Reality: The cost comes from the source. There are only a couple of ways to get that cost down, and none of them have anyting to do with free enterprise. Face it America, good medical care is expensive and it should be. I compare this to people griping about the cost of childcare. Some things are worth the cost!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  67. Marc R. Jones, Esquire

    Hear, Hear Mr. Potter! Its so great to have an insider telling us the truth after all these years! As a former CIGNA employee myself, I salute you in this!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  68. Jonathan Burton

    When the insurance companies say that your premiums will go up as a result of coverage of pre-existing conditions, it is time to bid a firm "farewell" to these bozos.
    They are running a failed business model, which after the health care bill goes into effect will put them out of the business of profiting from pain, illness, and disease. A moral victory for all americans!
    We need to put an end to expensive necessities, and make out country great once more.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  69. wayne

    I don't really trust the government for health care much less social security, medicare, medicaid or any other program they run. It always cost 2 -3 times what they say it will and it usually sucks. I can't believe how many of you want these programs to succeed. If it was a program just for those who need insurance, thats one thing but they want everyone on board for this. And you trust them???
    Maybe you will like having the government run everything but I'll take a pass. Maybe you will learn what a big mistake you made before you die from bad healthcare or some other government run program.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  70. AOSH

    Michael you are a just a loser. just lose your today and you will what will happen to your insurance for you and your family. Clearly republicans are rip offs.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  71. StevenR

    Remind me again, what do insurance companies do to provide health care? Take 30% of the cost as profit? That's it? Then they get in between me and my doctor with useless forms? Then they say you can't have insurance if you have a pre-existing condition? THEN THEY LIE ABOUT THE WHOLE THING?

    PUT THE INSURANCE EXECUTIVES IN JAIL FOR MURDER. Let me repeat MURDER, MURDER, MURDER.

    My girlfriend is DEAD and they are flying around in private JETS?

    DEATH PENALTY FOR INSURANCE COMPANY EXECS!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  72. McFly

    HA, HA, HA ... the Insurance Company's say that our rates will increase by $1,000 or more if the bill is passed. What they dont tell you is how much they will INCREASE premiums if it does not pass. Well, lets see ... since 1980 Health Insurance premiums have GONE UP by nearly 400% ... while coverage has gone down (not to mention copays, coinsurance, pre-ex, etc ... ).

    October 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  73. patty

    who in their right mind would believe anything this corrupt industry would have to say anyway.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  74. Johnny V

    What kind of an idiot puts their faith and trust in an insurance company? My cat is smarter than that!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  75. Margaret

    There needs to be public hearings on this so the truth can come out. All of these people should testify before Congress.

    We have an out of control government attempting to grab even more power from the American people. If they have nothing to hide, there is no reason to cram this down our throats.

    If they choose the latter, the United States Congress will be flipped and sent home in 2010. If you doubt that, just watch.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  76. Realist

    This guy made tons of money on the other side for twenty years, he has no morals, he sees a possibility to make more money by switching sides, I would believe a word out of his mouth. Who knows why he even left in the first place, I doubt it just became too much after 20 years of cashing a check

    October 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  77. Jeff J

    The problem with Health care is the Politicians that want to insure everyone get paid or have stock in all the pharmaceutical companies so why would the pass a universal health care system when they would all stand to lose money.. Throw the whole system in the trash and start over..

    October 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  78. John

    The insurance industry is working hard to create the perception that the health care reform bill will cost the American public more so that they can charge more, regardless if there is an actual increase in cost or not. Haven't we seen this before... in gas prices right after Katrina? It's all about perception...

    October 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  79. TamarS

    Of course the insurance industry mis-represented things in the report. They, like the banking and real estate industries are only interested in preserving their obscene profits to give obscene bonuses to top employees but not the lower level. no surprise here.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  80. David in Alabackwards

    You don't have to be a genius to see that when an insurance company skims 30% off for administration; 20% off for profit; and, another 10% for executive compensation; you have a scam going on.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  81. VC, MD

    I think we should be arguing what is wrong with the report which is probably looking at much more realistic costs than White house. The estimates from White house are definitely incorrect and they are way lower than CBO estimates. We have seen in the past that White house estimates are best case scenarios (like highest unemployment numbers predicted by Obama team was 9.3 while making the case for the stimulus). A company is not a Ghost who sucks blood. All insurance companies are managed and run by people like us, and their profits go to all shareholders like our 401 K. Mr. Potter works for money. Earlier he worked at insurance companies, and now for the white house. That's why he is blindly pushing white house estimates and dismissing this report just by raising the bogey of corporate greed. But for corporate greed, USA would be just like mexico. I am sure CNN would not post this comment as they don't post any constructive criticism of Obama white house.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  82. Diane

    The American people should get to vote on the public option. Isn't this supposed to be about what the people of the United States want?

    October 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  83. Tom in Sarasota

    The very worst outcome would be for the government to require people to buy the overpriced, fake insurance offered by this crooked industry. This is what the Republicans want, because they're in the pockets of these crooks. Talk about a license to steal.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  84. Mollie

    It's so refreshing to hear an honest, nonpartisan voice about how the insurance companies are trying to steer policy on health care reform. I don't know if Wendell Potter is a Republican or a Democrat and it doesn't matter. He's speaking the truth about the sneaky ways the insurance industry cheats Americans out of adequate health coverage. I hope the partisan bickering will stop. Quit playing politics with this important issue!

    October 13, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  85. David

    I really do not care if the insurance bill passes. I have insurance, I just don't care about anyone else.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  86. Jerome

    "Roberts: So how do they go forward and make such a claim if it’s just patently not true?"

    Because they have the money to make ads and buy Senator's as mouth pieces for the industry. There is a segment of the population that will allow themselves to be lead by the ads, Politicians, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh.

    Personally I have no faith in the Democrats or Republicans in the House or Senate or the President to do what needs to be done for the good of the American people, the economic security of the country, or the long-term viability of these industries which seem to be on the road to self-imploding just as the financial industry did last year.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  87. Doug - Illinois

    This is a national issue and we have to reform the way health services are delivered in our country. It is a complex issue which means it can be sliced and diced for whatever purposes suit the lobbyist. I am disgusted that our health insurance industry is playing such a BIG role in a debate that affects all aspects of an individual's life. Thank you Mr. Potter for exposing the obvious and blatant attempts by the health care insurance industry to claim reform will cost more. If we do nothing (which is what the health insurance companies want) we are guaranteed an ever increasing larger percent of every dollar will go to pay for health services. It is unsustainable and if we do nothing it will turn us into a second rate country. A country fixated on having the right to outrageously expensive healthcare that fewer and fewer citizens can afford!

    October 13, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  88. Johnny V

    Why don't people understand this simple concept- without a public option, the for-profit health insurance mega-corporations are going to try to maximize their profits- at our expense! It's simple economics people- corporations are in the business of making profit over everything else, that is what capitalism is all about. And I'm not saying capitalism is bad, it just needs to be controlled when it involves something as big and important as the health and well being of our society.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  89. Travis

    This is by far one of the most biased things I've seen concerning the entire healthcare issues and people are eating it up!! The insurance company said they wanted to work with the government...they DID NOT say they wanted to just go along with whatever the government came up with. If the insurance companies have valid concerns, why don't the proponents of the healthcare bill actually acknowledge them??? Before anyone had any time to even digest the information from the insurance companies, the proponents of Obama's bill were already becoming hostile with their replies. Why not let it sink in for a few days and then come up with ways to alleviate the concerns?? If the politicians actually had facts and figures to back up what they are saying, then they wouldn't be replying to the insurance companies by calling them liars. They would show the facts and figures and let them speak for themselves. Nobody is going to truly know which side is correct because both sides are only saying words and not actually giving anything substantial.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  90. David

    How does anyone believe an Insurance Industry-backed report that says anything. Everyone already knows that the industry will oppose anything that results in government regulation or competition. Everyone also knows they will lie and cheat as much as possible when opposing any Health Care Bill.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  91. Ike

    There is a definite irony in the health insurance industry being characterized as being disingenuous with President Obama. Consider all the misleading things he and his administration have said, about health insurance reform and every other proposal. Rather ironic, isn't it?

    October 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  92. Tom

    What is bogus is the CBO's estimate – they were off by a factor of 10 on the medicaid drug benefit and I am afraid they're off the mark hers too.

    Besides, the Federal Gov't has NO Constitutional authority to require that all citizen's have medical insurance – nor should it.

    As the country's largest employer and by far largest medical insurer (Medicare and Medicaid), the Gov't has all the pwer it needs to demonstrate how it can cut costs and make medical care affordable – but they have failed miserably there and there is no reason to believe thaey can succeed with the poewer they are asking for. Why mess up the program that covers 95% of the people for the 5% that are not covered?

    October 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  93. Rod

    Once again the Obama run media kicks into overdrive to discredit anyone/anything that questions one of the administration's policies. You guys really are in the tank.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  94. NGC

    Why is it multiple credible polls show a majority of the public, regardless of political leaning, favor a public healthcare option, yet a meaningful number of our elected officials in Washington are still equivocating about its inclusion in healthcare reform? Ideology? or just plain bribery – oh, excuse me, campaign contributions. This is the seamy underbelly of our political system. Well let's see how many 'shills' speak up for their insurance company masters. Perhaps some will be shamed into doing their jobs and respresenting the people instead of the corporate check books.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  95. DALE

    If it passes and the dems are wrong and it does increase our rates. That will be the end of liberals for years to come. Everyone will know that they have been lied too in a way that cost them big bucks.

    Same thing about global warming...... It's looking really rediculous and they are lying over and over. But the truth will come out, people are not "Quite" as stupid as you think they are.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  96. Mark Neahring

    The health insurance industry is running scared – they have been profiting from ripping off American's for years. Now that the government is finally going to make some real change in health insurance, they are thrashing about trying to hang-on. Lets hope that the White House and Congress don't fall for their lies, or get 'persuaded' by lobbyists and campaign contributions.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  97. Boulder Liberal

    Thank you for this report!

    I hope to one day see an America that is run by politicians of the highest integrity and elected by an highly informed, educated, engaged electorate. Perhaps we are slowly moving in this direction. as evidenced in the last election.

    In fact, we have in the White House perhaps the most gifted president in the last half century. But corporate America doesn't want to change. Corporate America is eager to mislead the American people, outsource jobs, cut jobs, pay low wages, and get fat off of our labor.

    No more...

    October 13, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  98. Michael Larsen

    This healthcare debate is ridiculous. The bottom line is this: only an insurance company should determine what is right for me and my family in terms of healthcare. I don't need some liberal government doctor who believes that all human beings are worthy of healthcare to tell me that I cannot spend money on my family's health in order to insure that I don't get free care which might not be good. If you cannot afford healthcare, too bad for you. Only those who can afford it should have it. And I trust the insurance companies and the Republican Party to know what's best for me and my family.

    October 13, 2009 at 11:52 am |
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