Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wendell Potter, a former public relations specialist with CIGNA, was on Democracy Now! today discussing the healthcare debate taking place in this country. Potter dissects the healthcare industry during the interview, exposing the industry's avarice and concern for profits for shareholders over the well-being of their clients. He also breaks down the industry's public relations campaign to discredit any healthcare reform proposed by anyone other than them. An overarching theme of Potter's characterizations of the healthcare industry is the incredible influence it has on members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats alike. It is amazing how distorted the debate is over healthcare, with critics demonizing anyone who supports a public plan as a socialist. The recent bank bailout and various forms of corporate welfare, from tax breaks to outright subsidies, are a revealing indication of how our political system works. Healthcare is socialist and would bankrupt the country, but Wall Street and major financial interests are rescued in a heartbeat by the Fed and US Treasury. Private interests essentially took over and looted the American government at the expense of taxpayers in the last few months. But because the healthcare industry is a for-profit industry that has a highly manipulating (and, regrettably, effective) public relations arm and an extraordinary influence over Congress, millions of Americans remain uninsured.