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Former Top Insurance Exec Blows the Whistle on Health Insurance Companies’ Plot Against Reform

How health insurance companies sought to discredit Michael Moore's 'SiCKO.'
 
 
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In an interview with PBS’ Bill Moyers on Friday, former health insurance executive Wendell Potter revealed that health insurance companies had developed a concerted strategy to discredit Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO:

BILL MOYERS: And there was a political strategy. “Position Sicko as a threat to Democrats’ larger agenda.” What does that mean?

WENDELL POTTER: That means that part of the effort to discredit this film was to use lobbyists and their own staff to go onto Capitol Hill and say, “Look, you don’t want to believe this movie. You don’t want to talk about it. You don’t want to endorse it. And if you do, we can make things tough for you.”

BILL MOYERS: How?

WENDELL POTTER: By running ads, commercials in your home district when you’re running for reelection, not contributing to your campaigns again, or contributing to your competitor.

Potter, the former head of Corporate Communications at CIGNA, said he thought Moore “ hit the nail on the head with his movie,” which advocated that the government-run systems of other western democracies produce better health care outcomes. The health insurance companies “don’t want you to think that it was a documentary that had some truth,” Potter said.

Faiz Shakir is the Research Director at the Center for American Progress and serves as Editor of ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report.