Prominent Insurance Executive Denounces Big Money
August 18, 2009 -- I’ve been inside our health industry as the medical director for Oregon’s largest commercial insurer and have seen what happens when big money is involved, and public policy is crucial to future profits.
I can honestly tell you that the resources spent on influencing the public are enormous, and the information is inevitably biased to the interests of its source -- be that an insurance company, a hospital system or a professional association.
When Wendell Potter, who was in charge of corporate communications for CIGNA, appeared on the Bill Moyers’ Journal (PBS, July 10) he quoted Dante to explain his decision to leave the company and speak out: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain neutrality."
And if you haven’t already seen the Bill Moyers’ essay on the influence of industry money in health and other public policy, click here. It’s well worth your while.
Dr. Don Thieman now works for an Oregon nonprofit health plan that serves indigent members.