Reform Watch: Insider Exposes Insurance Industry’s Practices; Obama Says Nurses Know Health Care Best

Kaiser Health News draws attention to a WSJ story about a former health insurance PR insider who’s been speaking out against insurance practices and the industry’s attack campaign against health care reform:

A former health insurance spokesman speaks out against insurance practices. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones reports: “Wendell Potter, former chief spokesman for health insurer Cigna Corp., describes himself in his Twitter bio as a ‘journalist who spent 20 years undercover as HMO PR flack, now writing all about it.’ While Potter chuckles about the line, he is serious about his foray into the U.S. health reform debate, where he is campaigning for a public health-plan option and, with mild delivery and tough words, targeting what he calls ‘deceptive and dishonest’ tactics of a for-profit health insurance industry that’s fighting such a plan.” 

And in an interview with NPR (full transcript here), President Obama calls nurses “the people who know health care best” and says they are among those who know why we need health care reform:

JIM LEHRER: And you’re not — you will not be satisfied by somebody or some group or somebodies that say, “Well, OK, let’s do it — but we can’t do it now; we have economic things to do. We have other things in the economy to deal with; let’s wait a year, let’s wait six months. Forget it, huh?”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: If not now, when? We have literally been waiting 50 years and we still haven’t gotten it done. And the longer we delay, the more those special interests that benefit from the system as it is, the more they are going to fight change. And when you’ve got doctors, nurses, hospitals, the AARP and even the drug companies — as well as major employers like Wal-Mart — saying now is the time for us to bring about some change, I think it’s time for us to bring about some change.

Interested in joining an American Nurses Association (ANA) campaign that’s getting nurses involved in fighting for health care reform? Click here.

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Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

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