So the next time you hear someone warning against a "government takeover" of our health care system, or that the creation of a public health insurance option would send us down the "slippery slope toward socialism," know that someone like I used to be wrote those terms, knowing it might turn many of the very people who would benefit most from meaningful reform into unwitting spokespeople for the industry.
He is Wendell Potter, former head of communications for one of the nation's largest health insurers, CIGNA Corporation. He is a man of conscience, a quality sorely lacking among the corporate leaders in America. He said of his job:
"The higher I rose in the company, the more I learned about the tactics insurers use to dump policyholders when they get sick, in order to increase profits and to reward their Wall Street investors. I could not in good conscience continue serving as an industry mouthpiece. And I did not want to be part of yet another industry effort to kill meaningful reform."
"The industry goes to great lengths to keep its involvement in these campaigns hidden from public view. I know from having served on numerous trade group committees and industry-funded front groups, however, that industry leaders are always full partners in developing strategies to derail any reform that might interfere with insurers' ability to increase profits."
We know this. Yet the dumbed-down reactionaries out there, the people that Potter says are, "the very people who would benefit most from meaningful reform," have become the mindless zombies shouting and screaming at the town hall meetings.
When will these citizen wake up and realize that they are no more than shills for the insurance industry? When? When its too late.