Wendell Potter had turned on the health insurance industry for some time. He used the U.S. failed response to COVID-19 to come clean on a serious past lie.
Wendell Potter tweeted the following.
Amid America’s #COVID19 disaster, I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec: We spent big $$ to push the idea that Canada’s single-payer system was awful & the U.S. system much better. It was a lie & the nations’ COVID responses prove it. The truth: (1/6)
Canada’s doing much better than the U.S. when it comes to #COVID19 testing & treatment. On a per capita basis, more Canadians are being tested & fewer getting sick & dying. This may shock Americans who still believe the lies I told about the Canadian health care system. (2/6)
Here’s the truth: Our industry PR & lobbying group, AHIP, supplied my colleagues & me with cherry-picked data & anecdotes to make people think Canadians wait endlessly for their care. It’s a lie & I’ll always regret the disservice I did to folks on both sides of the border. (3/6)
In Canada, no one gets turned away from doctors due to lack of funds. In America, exorbitant bills are a defining feature of the system. What about quality of care? When it comes to #COVID19, there’s been ~ 21 deaths per 100,000 in Canada, versus 34 per 100,000 in the U.S. (4/6)
Remember, in Canada there are no co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance ever. Care is free at the point of service. And those laid off in Canada don’t face the worry of losing their health insurance. In the U.S., millions are losing their jobs & coverage, and scared to death. (5/6)
You learn a lot about a healthcare system when a global crisis hits & different nations have different results. Canada’s single-payer system is saving lives. The U.S. profit-driven corporate model is failing. I’ll regret slandering Canada’s system for the rest of my life. (6/6)
It is clear that Americans must demand Medicare for All as soon as Joe Biden becomes president in November 2020. There is no other acceptable choice. These lies should be the death sentence for health insurance companies as they murdered many Americans with that lie by having them make decisions detrimental to their lives.
Who is this insurance executive Wendell Potter?
Wendell Potter is an author, former corporate public relations executive, and, now a journalist. He was a reporter in his home state of Tennessee back in the ’70s, covering local and state politics–including the Tennessee statehouse–for The Memphis Press-Scimitar. He then covered Congress, the White House, and Supreme Court for Scripps-Howard newspapers. After a few years in DC, he was enticed into PR and spent more than two decades in the health insurance industry, first at Humana and then VP at Cigna. He was serving as head of corporate communications for Cigna when he left after a crisis of conscience in 2008. Potter turned whistleblower and reformed insurance propagandist.
Since then he’s written three books: Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans (a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Ridenhour Book Prize in 2011); Obamacare: What’s In It for Me/What Everyone Needs to Know about the Affordable Care Act (an ebook); and Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It (published by Bloomsbury USA in March 2016). I’ve also written numerous commentaries and analysis pieces for a broad range of media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, the Nation, and the Center for Public Integrity.