In an interview with PBS’ Bill Moyers on Friday, former health insurance executive Wendell Potter revealed that health insurance companies had developed a concerted strategy to discredit Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO:
BILL MOYERS: And there was a political strategy. “Position Sicko as a threat to Democrats’ larger agenda.” What does that mean?
WENDELL POTTER: That means that part of the effort to discredit this film was to use lobbyists and their own staff to go onto Capitol Hill and say, “Look, you don’t want to believe this movie. You don’t want to talk about it. You don’t want to endorse it. And if you do, we can make things tough for you.”
BILL MOYERS: How?
WENDELL POTTER: By running ads, commercials in your home district when you’re running for reelection, not contributing to your campaigns again, or contributing to your competitor.
Potter, the former head of Corporate Communications at CIGNA, said he thought Moore “hit the nail on the head with his movie,” which advocated that the government-run systems of other western democracies produce better health care outcomes. The health insurance companies “don’t want you to think that it was a documentary that had some truth,” Potter said.
The companies “biggest concern” is that the United States might adopt “a broader program like our Medicare program” which “could potentially reduce the profits of these big companies.” He added that “we shouldn’t fear government involvement in our health care system. That there is an appropriate role for government, and it’s been proven in the countries that were in that movie.” Watch it:
See part 1 of the interview here.
Potter said he was driven to speak out when “it became really clear to me that the industry is resorting to the same tactics they’ve used over the years, and particularly back in the early ’90s, when they were leading the effort to kill the Clinton plan.”
Michael Moore’s newest documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” is set for an October release. “It will be the perfect date movie. It’s got it all — lust, passion, romance, and 14,000 jobs being eliminated every day. It’s a forbidden love, one that dare not speak its name. Heck, let’s just say it: It’s capitalism,” he said.