Saying that U.S. health care companies are more interested in their financial well being than your physical well being is stating the obvious. Corporations exist for one reason – to make money. All decisions and strategies are subject to one final litmus test: How will this affect the bottom line?
As the health care debate in America rages on, it should be noted that many of the arguments are constructed with no other purpose than to protect the financial interests of the health care industry. Propaganda is defined as “the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause.” Mainstream media is in effect enabling insurance companies to ingrain their message into the minds of many Americans who see the logic of some of the arguments, without stopping to think about where these viewpoints come from, or why they are being put forth.
Bill Moyers has recently had some well informed guests on his PBS show, Bill Moyers Journal. Wendell Potter is a former CIGNA executive who appeared on the July 10th show. Potter quit his high paying job and joined the fight for health care reform in America. The insights provided by his story do not shine a positive light on health insurance companies or the health insurance lobby. Here are some excerpts:
The industry has always tried to make Americans think that government-run systems are the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, that if you even consider that, you’re heading down on the slippery slope towards socialism. So they have used scare tactics for years and years and years, to keep that from happening. If there were a broader program like our Medicare program, it could potentially reduce the profits of these big companies. So that is their biggest concern.
Discussing the health care industry’s plan to counter the Michael More film, Sicko.
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.