‘Reframing’ the Debate to Make Insurers Look Poor.

In 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau delivered the troubling but hardly shocking news that almost 51 million Americans — nearly one out of every six of us — had fallen into the ranks of the uninsured. If you think that news would also be troubling for health insurance companies, think again. While the country was struggling to emerge from a recession, and more and more of us were struggling with no medical coverage, the big for-profit insurance companies were rolling …

Read the Story

The Insurers’ Real Agenda for Change

The media had lots of health care news to obsess about last week. A federal judge ruled the health care reform law unconstitutional, and Senate Republicans tried in vain to repeal the law. But most of the press paid virtually no attention to a potentially much more important development — a multi-pronged effort by five major insurers to strip from the law key regulations and consumer protections that aren’t to their liking.

The insurers do not want the bill repealed …

Read the Story

‘How Everybody Exists’ Doesn’t Have To Be

If you want to know how things really get done in Washington — or don’t get done, depending on the desires of America’s corporate executives — all you have to do is read a couple of paragraphs in a Jan. 23 Philadelphia Inquirer story (see page 2).

Reporter Joe DiStefano quotes a vice president at APCO Worldwide — one of DC’s most powerful and influential PR firms — in response to questions about my book, Deadly Spin. Throughout the …

Read the Story

‘Friendly Reminder’: Fox’s Unbalanced Ethics Threatens Democracy

Faux News
Image copyright P. Thompson (fauxnewschannel.com)

Anyone who still clings to the notion that Fox News is actually a news organization rather than a propaganda machine for special interests — and that it actually is led by journalists who adhere to the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists — must read the leaked memos Media Matters for America disclosed this morning.

Under the heading of “Fox boss caught slanting news reporting,” Media Matters shared on its …

Read the Story

Must ‘Ethical PR’ be an Oxymoron, Richard Edelman?

[Cross-posted on PRWatch.org, HuffingtonPost.com, and DailyKos.com.]

A few days ago, the Sammie Lynn Puett Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) invited me to speak at the University of Tennessee’s PR Day. It was more of an honor to be asked than the students will ever know. I don’t think many of them knew I was a charter member of that PRSSA chapter back in the ’70s and that Sammie Lynn Puett, a revered figure on campus …

Read the Story

Thank You, to Many

Thank you.

That’s really the only message I want to convey in this post, appropriately on Thanksgiving. I’ll get back to other matters soon enough, but today I just want to express my gratitude for being so richly blessed and for being able to do what at long last I feel is my right livelihood.

Among the people and things I am especially thankful for is Nataline Sarkisyan. I’m grateful for the role she played in changing the course of …

Read the Story

My Apologies to Michael Moore and the Health Insurance Industry

Alex Potter, Michael Moore, Wendell Potter
(L-R) Alex Potter, Michael Moore and Wendell Potter at the official U.S. premiere of Sicko, June 16, 2007

In advance of my appearance with Michael Moore on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight on MSNBC (8 and 11 p.m. ET), I would like to offer an apology to both Moore and his archenemy, the health insurance industry, which spent a lot of policyholder premiums in 2007 to attack his movie, Sicko.

I need to apologize to Moore for the role …

Read the Story

WellPoint’s Heart-Stopping Rate Increase

A congressional hearing next week into the proposed 39 percent rate increase in California by health insurance giant WellPoint could breathe new life into health care reform efforts on Capitol Hill, especially if lawmakers broaden their investigation into the outrageous rate increases other insurers are also demanding from coast to coast.

WellPoint found itself in Congressional investigators’ crosshairs after the California Department of Insurance challenged the company’s planned increase in the rates it charges its customers who cannot get coverage …

Read the Story

Breaking News: Insurance Industry Launders $10M to $20M in Attack Ads

This is a special alert about breaking news showing that health insurance companies secretly gave the Chamber of Commerce millions of dollars to run third-party attack ads at the same time they were telling Congress they continued to “strongly support reform.” On the one hand, we’re not surprised, but on the other hand, we’re outraged by the lies and deception that have been documented.

The new story in the National Journal proves what I have been talking about, since I …

Read the Story

Is Obama Planning to Sign Congress’ Health Care Reform Bill with Lipstick?

Over the coming weeks, Americans will find out whether the man they elected their president is just a great orator and politician or whether he is also a great leader.

Of the central features of candidate Barack Obama’s health care proposal, he said one thing was essential — a public insurance option to compete with the private insurance industry that is now dominated by a cartel of Wall Street-driven, for-profit behemoths. Another thing Obama said he would not support — …

Read the Story