Wendell Potter used to be the Vice President of Corporate Communications for health insurance giant Cigna. In his work, he had seen the lengths the company went to in order to save themselves money, but he quit his job after a crisis of conscience he had while attending a healthcare fair in his native Tennessee:
"I went there out of curiosity, and I saw something I never expected to see in the United States. I saw people — people I could’ve grown up with, they could have been my relatives — they were standing in long, long lines in the rain waiting to get care that was being provided by doctors who were volunteering their time, and they were treating people in barns and animal stalls. Just witnessing that scene was jolting for me."
Hal Sparks and Jacki Schechner discussed healthcare legislation with Potter this morning on “Talking Liberally.” Potter talks about what led him to testify before Congress against the health insurance industry. He says we are “definitely on the right track” with healthcare reform, but he’s not surprised at the roadblocks because the industry is heavily invested in influencing public opinion as well as lobbying, and “they own a bunch of lawmakers.”