BMJ – How Health Insurance Companies Work

The Bill Moyers Journal is one of the smartest shows on television. This is the second show in recent months that Bill Moyers in which Moyers has covered health care. Mr. Wendell Potter, an executive at CIGNA, tells Moyer (and us) what we really already know. Health insurance companies do not have our best interests at heart. They focused primarily on Wall Street and the bottom line. This should not be news to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis. I’ve been saying this for more than three months. Insurance companies will do whatever is necessary to make money. They will deny claims that are perfectly legitimate. They will cut you or a small business from their coverage if there are “too many” claims in any given year.

I have to say a couple words about Wendell Potter. It isn’t that I think he’s lying. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. My problem with Mr. Potter is that he is right about the millions of dollars in salary and other compensation from CIGNA. Now that he has retired, he wants to clear his conscience. For lack of a better term. There are better terms… including one word that starts with an “F,” but let’s call it the Scott McClellan Syndrome. As you recall, Scott McClellan was press secretary to President George W. Bush. He’d been with Bush for a number of years, including when Bush was governor in Texas. When he left the Bush administration, he signed a large contract to write a book which was critical of an administration that he defended day in and day out for a number of years. Wendell Potter is that same kind of person.

In spite of my own personal aversion to people like Mr. Potter, this is an excellent interview by Bill Moyers. As you watch these videos, please think of what is going on on Capital Hill right now. The insurance industry is “promising” to cut costs.  Where are these cuts going to come from? Executive salaries? Less coverage for fewer people? Are we really going to see those cuts at all? You decide. Enjoy!!