I can’t help but wonder what the executives at Cigna must feel when they hear stories about the uninsured. Also what do they feel for those whose claims have been denied by Cigna and other firms just like it? Does it not bother them that their entire business model revolves around collecting premiums and denying as many claims as legally possible? How does this help America? Imagine if the families of these executives were to one day be denied healthcare coverage and these lions of industry were left to sit and watch their loved ones suffer unspeakable pain?
At least for one of these industry captains, a Wendell Potter his conscience finally got the best of him. He could take it no longer.
It was July 2007 and Potter, a senior executive at giant US healthcare firm Cigna, was visiting relatives in the poverty-ridden mountain districts of northeast Tennessee. He saw an advert in a local paper for a touring free medical clinic at a fairground just across the state border in Wise County, Virginia.
Potter, who had worked at Cigna for 15 years, decided to check it out. What he saw appalled him. Hundreds of desperate people, most without any medical insurance, descended on the clinic from out of the hills. People queued in long lines to have the most basic medical procedures carried out free of charge. Some had driven more than 200 miles from Georgia. Many were treated in the open air. Potter took pictures of patients lying on trolleys on rain-soaked pavements.
If no other sentence from the article about Mr. Potter in the Guardian remains with you then let this one seep in.
“For Potter it was a dreadful realisation that healthcare in America had failed millions of poor, sick people and that he, and the industry he worked for, did not care about the human cost of their relentless search for profits.”
Relentless is the word indeed. Even now they seek to destroy any attempt at having an effective healthcare system in America. Here are some more insights in to how the US healthcare industry works.
Potter was witness to the campaign against Michael Moore’s healthcare documentary Sicko. The industry slammed the film as one-sided and politically motivated. Secret documents leaked from the American Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobby group, detailed the plan to paint Moore as a fringe radical. Potter now says the film “hit the nail on the head”. “The Michael Moore movie that I saw was full of truth,” he admits.
Potter was also working for Cigna when it became embroiled in the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, whose family went public after Cigna refused to pay for a liver transplant that it considered “experimental” and therefore not covered by their policy. Cigna reversed this decision only hours before the Californian teenager died. “I wish I could have done more in that case,” Potter said.
They are un-American there’s no way to get around it. We cannot let these traitors hand us another defeat as they did in the Clinton presidency. Healthcare corporations as we know it must be eradicated and exorcised off of the face of the earth.