Exclusive: Whistleblower reveals how insurers can game healthcare bill

Still think this health insurance bill wouldn’t be a massive gift to the insurance companies? Then you should definitely read this Raw Story write-up of my nearly hour-long interview with former Cigna executive-turned-whistleblower Wendell Potter, in which he details all the ways insurers can game the proposed health insurance legislation:

Wendell Potter, a twenty-year veteran of the insurance industry and former vice president of communications for Cigna, warns that current healthcare legislation does nothing to prevent the insurance industry from continuing its ongoing practice of increasingly shifting healthcare costs to consumers.

A form of bait-and-switch, such practices often set up individuals, families and small businesses for inadequate or unaffordable access and a continued looming threat of financial ruin. The overlooked element, Potter says, is that insurance companies will be able to claim they are reducing premiums by forcing more Americans to pay higher deductibles and offering less coverage.


3 replies »

  1. Incredible…not that it isn’t to be expected, but incredible none-the-less. Thanks much.

    Clearly the bill is meant as a preemptive bailout of an industry that would (i’ve read a reasonable argument) collapse in the next 5 – 10 years, especially if there’s no economic uptick on ole Main Street.

    But what gets me in the interview is the medical-loss ratio. That’s really where it’s at, and if my information is correct, the European nations that achieve universal coverage through market mechanisms mandate 100% for the medical-loss ration on the most basic plan. Sure, i realize and god forbid that The Street wouldn’t get so much to skim off the top, but if a “market” solution is the only one America is capable of, then we need to see that 100% number.

    The industry will still collapse, even with the reform, it’s just that a few will be able to get more blood from the many before it does.

  2. Thanks, Lex.

    And well said. I was just reading an article yesterday about the very same thing. The theory seems to make sense. And from that perspective, it’s like so many unsustainable corporate practices that continue to the overwhelming detriment of society as a whole just so a few can pad their fortunes in the near term.

  3. I wonder what the story is from the whistleblower’s point of view? I was a whistleblower in a high profile judicial bribery investigation. News stories typically focus on the perps and law enforcement and ignored the stories of the victim, those caught in the squeeze play. Even less attention is focused on the emotional, physical, and monetary risks to whistleblowers. See story, news, and resources about victims of corruption and whistleblowers. Follow me on Twitter at