Guy Who Made Tons Of Money In Insurance Industry Wants Democrats To Push Single Payer

Of course, Wendell Potter doesn’t call it single payer, but uses the Democrats buzz phrase of Medicare For All

Take it from me, tweaks won’t fix health care. Democrats should focus on Medicare for All.

Democrats have secured a 40-seat flip of the House of Representatives, based largely on a nationwide call for health care reform. Many Democrats, led by Brian Higgins of New York, are planning to use their newfound control of the House to work on a Medicare buy-in bill.

I spent 20 years as a health insurance executive before leaving my job as a vice president at Cigna. I can tell you firsthand that by focusing on a half-baked measure like a Medicare buy-in, Democrats would hand a huge gift to the private insurance industry while doing less than the bare minimum to help struggling businesses, workers, families and patients.

When the next Congress starts in January, House Democrats should use their new majority introduce, debate and vote on significant legislation that would assure universal coverage, protect taxpayers, and dramatically transform our health care system: Medicare for All. (snip)

It’s time for Democrats to stop proposing health care reform that relies on insurance companies to play fair. After two decades in the for-profit health insurance industry, I can assure you they never will. They have no interest in doing anything that might in any way jeopardize profits. Their only interest is delivering profits to their shareholders. From that perspective, the status quo is very profitable. For everyone else, not so much.

So, he made oodles of money in his position as a VP at a for profit health insurance company, but now has an issue with that model. Why is it so wrong for companies to make a profit in Liberal World? Could insurance companies do better by their clients? Oh hell yes. But putting government in charge of our health insurance and health care is not the outcome people should be looking for.

Business owners are struggling to provide health insurance to their employees, workers’ take-home pay is shrinking as their premiums go up, patients are literally begging for their lives on fundraising platforms like GoFundMe, doctors and hospitals are drowning in paperwork dealing with insurance claims departments, and more than 80 million people lack adequate health insurance.  That number is increasing every year. Reform is desperately needed.

Democrats have the chance to be the champions of that reform if they don’t waste their energy on half-measures. Instead of thinking about how they can make small tweaks to the health care system, they should start thinking about how to enact dramatic reforms that will assure universal coverage while reducing costs and encouraging economic growth. Voters and taxpayers are asking for Medicare for All. It’s time to listen.

He forgets to mention how to pay for it. Because it won’t be free. And it will see take-home pay shrink.

It’s interesting, though, that Obamacare caused that increase in paperwork and was supposed to fix things like premiums and make it so people had adequate health insurance. Of course, using it is something else. Obamacare made deductibles virtually un-affordable, while single payer makes it difficult to use as waiting times and denials due to age and such spike.

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26 Responses to “Guy Who Made Tons Of Money In Insurance Industry Wants Democrats To Push Single Payer”

  1. Jethro says:

    TEACH: he made oodles of money in his position as a VP at a for profit health insurance company, but now has an issue with that model.

    Not sure you know how much money Mr. Potter has (or why you think it’s important), but who better to understand the issues than an insider? It seems your strategy is trash Mr. Potter because you disagree with his proposal.

    TEACH: But putting government in charge of our health insurance and health care is not the outcome people should be looking for.

    But that model works well in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Israel, Japan, Korea (south), Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway etc where people pay about half for high quality health care. Yes, it would mean that working class folks would keep more of their earnings but I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?

    If we cut our health care costs by one third, we’d save $1 trillion, or $3000 for every US citizen. And everyone would have health care coverage.

    • formwiz says:

      who better to understand the issues than an insider

      No, he’s just another Lefty who wants people to think because he worked in insurance, he knows what’s best. 5 will get you 10 he’s spent his life being a big Demo and Lefty donor.

      Democrats have secured a 40-seat flip of the House of Representatives, based largely on a nationwide call for health care reform.

      No, Demos flipped 40 seats because they took advantage of a lot of Whigs either retiring or trying to distance themselves from The Donald (real dumb) and cranked up the vote fraud machine.

      But that model works well in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Israel, Japan, Korea (south), Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway etc where people pay about half for high quality health care.

      No, it stinks because people pay through the nose for lousy health care (first thing they want to see is your credit card).

      it would mean that working class folks would keep more of their earnings

      If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

    • david7134 says:

      Jeff,
      Once again and again, single payer health systems run by the government do not work. Are you aware to some of the countries you list have given up on them? You are a very stupid guy and really have no business commenting until you have some facts.

      • Jethro says:

        dave,

        You’re always invited to debate. Which country’s health system do you wish to discuss? It’s my understanding that no advanced nation has opted to go back to a “for profit” system.

        Regarding not commenting until one has facts… LOL Good one.

        • formwiz says:

          It’s my understanding that no advanced nation has opted to go back to a “for profit” system.

          Because the Socialists control the government and use the usual Lefty FUD to scare people they won’t get that “quality” health care anybody who can get to the US wants to escape.

          Again, wife is nurse of 50 years, has any number of stories of people from outside the US coming here because the care hey got was lousy (waiting years for surgery, the system letting people die); when IdiotCare was proposed, the first thing they said was, “Are you people crazy? What do you want to be stuck with what we’ve got?”.

          Regarding not commenting until one has facts

          It’s never stopped Jeffery.

          • Jethro says:

            dave,

            Did you know more Americans leave the US for health care than foreigners come here?

            And contrary to what you hear, Canadians are pleased with their system.

            Data is not the plural of anecdote.

          • david7134 says:

            Jeff,
            Another lie. But if that is true, who cares and what point do you make? As I said, all you do is lie.

        • david7134 says:

          Jeff,
          Now why would any one take the time to debate with you. You have not told the truth since you started commenting. You don’t understand many common concepts and refuse to learn. The rest of the people here seem to understand the horror of government systems, only you lack the experience and smarts to understand. Now, take your list of great countries, look up the reality of what is happening and find a country that is at least 330,000,000 that has a functioning system that is not communistic.

      • formwiz says:

        Wife’s family summers in Canuckistan. The Canucks hate what they have.

  2. alanstorm says:

    Shorter version:

    “Adding more government has made things worse, so we need…MOAR GOVERNMENT!”

  3. david7134 says:

    Jeff,
    Now why would any one take the time to debate with you. You have not told the truth since you started commenting. You don’t understand many common concepts and refuse to learn. The rest of the people here seem to understand the horror of government systems, only you lack the experience and smarts to understand. Now, take your list of great countries, look up the reality of what is happening and find a country that is at least 330,000,000 that has a functioning system that is not communistic.

  4. david7134 says:

    Jeff,
    One more point. Korea went to single payer and when it broke them they have gone back. Korea is a good example of how to get cheaper medical cost. Eye surgery there cost $500 compared to $1500 here. Why?? Because the average take home pay of the average citizen is far less than here. But hotel room and food is cheaper as well.

    • Jethro says:

      dave,

      Can you support your contention that Korea’s health care system has “gone back”? Thanks. Last I read Korea had National Health Insurance and available private insurance if you wanted it.

      In fact over a million Americans a year travel outside the US for care. You claimed that people traveling to the US for care somehow shows the inferiority of their systems. What does it say about the US system when more citizens travel for care abroad? No wonder you hate to debate.

      The “horror of government systems” seems to be the sole basis of your ideology.

      • formwiz says:

        A million? You mean they go back to Mexico and Honduras to visit the home folks and get some free surgery?

        Citation, con permiso.

        You claimed that people traveling to the US for care somehow shows the inferiority of their systems.

        No, I claimed that. And you had better be able to prove what you say.

        Which you can’t.

      • Hoss says:

        And those national health care systems are so awesome that many people still elect to have private insurance. So, great, we producers can pay for a government behemoth that will eventually break the country, and pay extra for decent service on the side. What a win.

        And get serious, when has a government entitlement (from any country) ever been done away with; doesn’t matter how inefficient or shitty the program is, it could survive Armageddon along with the cockroaches.

        Oh, and we’d get to keep more of our cash if we went to Medicare-for-all? Get the f*ck out of here; that’s a worse lie than Obama promising everyone they’d be saving $2500 a year under the now stricken Obamacare. And did you seriously ask what was wrong with getting to keep more of the money you make – you might want to take that up with your party, they were/are pissed about producing America getting to keep more of the money they make. Pay attention!

  5. david7134 says:

    Jeff,
    If you have read lately about Korea, then you are lying. Your liberal sites where you get information distorts, lies and provides fake news.

  6. Dana says:

    Those advocating for “Medicare for All” have never been on Medicare!

    Health care on Medicare ain’t free! Retirees pay a monthly premium, deducted from their Social Security, just like the employees’ portion of health insurance under a corporation. Part A pays for 80% of hospitalization costs, not 100%, so you car still go very broke, very fast. Part B pays for medial office visits, but not 100%; there are still co-pays. Part D pays most of prescription drugs, but it is an optional portion, requiring another premium, paid not to Uncle Sam, but a private insurance company.

    Your Medicare taxes over 45 to 50 years of your working life were, in effect, you paying what we normally consider the employers’ share of health insurance, and after you go on Medicare, you wind up paying the employees’ portion through your Medicare premiums. It’s not ‘free’ health care, not in the slightest, but simply the federal government replacing the private insurance companies.

    Medicare covers only those Americans aged 65 or older, the group most likely to have more health problems, but Medicare cuts reimbursements to hospitals when too many patients are readmitted in fewer than thirty days. Thus, the sickest elderly Americans are facing increased out-of-pocket costs when Medicare reimburses less on their hospital admissions.

    What would Medicare for All be like? Americans would have to pay greatly increased Medicare taxes, which would be partially offset by no longer having to pay health insurance premiums, but my guess is that there’d be no net gain; the health care system still has to be paid for. Insurance company bureaucrats would be replaced by government bureaucrats. But, right now, if you have good private health insurance — meaning: not Obysmalcare plans — your health insurance is a lot better than Medicare.

    • Hoss says:

      These f**king morons want the same people who run the VA to run everyone’s health care. You really can’t fix stupid.

  7. formwiz says:

    Did you know more Americans leave the US for health care than foreigners come here?

    Sure they do. To Cuba, I’m sure, because they killed Fidel. That’s why Arab oil royalty keeps coming to places like the Cleveland Clinic because all those NHS places don’t charge them anything.

    And contrary to what you hear, Canadians are pleased with their system.

    Citation, con permiso. What the wife and her family hear says you’re a liar.

    • david7134 says:

      He has no idea as to incoming and out going, and it does not matter. Korea is a destination for plastic surgery, one of the best and also eyes. Many people do not know that we have a large Korean population and they will go back to get some medical work.

      The sad reality is that the government has reduced the quality of medical care in the US. At the same time government policy has greatly increased the cost of care.

  8. david7134 says:

    Medicare does not come close to paying for cost incurred by hospitals. Also, procedures can be put off to maximize reimbursement at the inconvenience and pain for the patient as well as increased risk of complication. As you get older, treatment are withheld remember the death panels, they are real.

  9. formwiz says:

    It’s all academic now. A TX judge just declared IdiotCare unconstitutional.

    Now there’s a Christmas present.

  10. MrDeLaGarzenzo says:

    Mr. Jethro simply does not understand how the healthcare systems in the nations he quoted above work.

    Its a common mistake and one that nearly all on the left make.

    Lets look at one example from his list:


    Health insurance
    Health services in Norway are of high standards. As a student in Norway you are ensured professional medical treatment no matter which part of the country you are living in.

    In most cases the treatment is free of charge if certain prerequisites are met. These prerequisites vary depending on your current nationality and length of stay in Norway. Please study the regulations below carefully.

    Sounds amazing. How do you surmise they pay for this?

    The general rule is that you do not become a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. If you are a member of social security in your home country and hold a European Health Insurance Card while studying in Norway, you are entitled emergency and necessary treatment under Norwegian legislation. Please be aware that this only apply to citizens of the countries within the EU/ EEA and Switzerland, and not citizens from other European countries living within this area.

    But nearly a million immigrants have flooded into Norway. How are they treated?

    In Norway you are required to pay double for health insurance. First the government taxes working citizens to pay for health care. Secondly you are required to buy insurance and join what they themselves call a national health care scheme.

    In fact the universal healthcare all across Europe is available to all citizens in all countries if you are a card carrying member. The EU modeled themselves after the United States. The problem is that in the US health insurance works across borders but in the EU it does not. So each nation has to pick up the additional cost of someone from Greece being treated in Norway. Students studying in Norway are entitled to care but at the expense of the citizens of Norway.

    So when you make claims about healthcare in the EU you are simply pointing to studies done by those on the left who use countries where Universal health care has been adopted without the full story of funding being addressed. You simply cede the point that in order to keep costs low for the member nation the government must become fascists in their handling of healthcare.

    In other words they must dictate how much if any profit is made and how much to pay doctors, nurses and medical workers thus ensuring they keep the costs low.

    Another factor never mentioned in healthcare is why do you surmise the US pays such high drug costs? Yep you got it. If Pfizer wants to make money off a drug and they of course sell drug XX in Norway for 1 dollar per pill because that is all Norway will pay. Now to make up the difference in the USA Pfizer sells the same drug for 1100 dollars per pill to offset the huge losses asscociated with selling to EU and other universal health care nations.

    In truth the reality of economics is there is no free lunch. Someone pays for your surgery and it is not you. It is the rest of the world. Now if we want to punish Pfizer then of course they will just stop developing drugs because they will lose money on the venture.

    Its all up to you how third world you want your health care for your children and grandchildren because Universal health care in a nation of swelling illegals is absolutely a recipe for disaster. Both socially and economically.

    • Jethro says:

      And yet for all the hoo-ha a simple fact remains: Every advanced nation on this planet provides quality healthcare to ALL their residents for about half of what we pay per capita in the US. We spend an unnecessary $1 trillion a year on healthcare, transferring that amount from working class Americans to the wealthy! Is that the kind of redistribution conservatives worry about??

      In truth the reality of economics is there is no free lunch. Someone pays for your surgery and it is not you. It is the rest of the world.

      Which is exactly how insurance works. A large group pays in so that a small group of unfortunate folks aren’t devastated by disease or accident. Few of us can afford out of pocket, open heart surgery, cancer treatment, hip replacement or chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease or Alzheimer’s in a chronic care facility.

      Universal healthcare is absolutely not free. We all pay taxes, premiums and co-pays. But care doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is now in the US.

      US policies (FDA regs and especially our USPTO policies) actually support if not encourage that drug prices exceed “market” prices. Drug companies (worldwide) abuse the Orphan Drug Act. The key for drug companies is “exclusivity” or the duration of their gov’t enforced monopoly (protectionism). The great amounts of money to be made with a blockbuster drug guarantees that drug companies spend great sums to insure their candidate makes it to market. Drug companies also spend great sums on “line extensions” and further protections of exclusivity, often with minor changes in formulation or “new” copycat drugs.

      According to the FDA’s classification system, roughly 70 percent of new drug approvals are for drugs that do not represent qualitative improvements over existing drugs.

      Think about that. Drug companies expend 70% of their effort and research funds on trying to get around patent expirations! The question avoided is: Does this new drug help the patient more than did the old drug, or is it designed to help the drug company?

      http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue32/Baker32.htm

  11. formwiz says:

    The fact is they don’t. The first thing they want to see is your credit card.

    People who can afford to come here from all those “advanced nations” for good health care and they’ve been doing it for decades.

    We spend an unnecessary $1 trillion a year on healthcare, transferring that amount from working class Americans to the wealthy!

    We do? Funny how the working stiff gets the same care as the rich guy. And doesn’t want that socialist care any more than anybody else.

    care doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is now in the US

    You get what you pay for. As we Americans are wont to say.

    PS Anybody can pluck a Lefty article off the Net. Question is, does it have any more weight than your inane sources for global warming?

    • Jethro says:

      care doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is now in the US

      You get what you pay for. As we Americans are wont to say.

      That’s what the drug and insurance corporations, doctors, lawyers, hospitals in the US want you to believe. And that is costing Americans about $1 trillion every year – an uphill redistribution of wealth.

      People who can afford to come here from all those “advanced nations” for good health care and they’ve been doing it for decades.

      No question that wealthy foreigners come to the US for certain procedures. But even more working class Americans travel abroad for less expensive medical care.

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