A Life-Changing Event

Nataline Sarkisyan needed a transplant, but ran out of time after an insurance company dawdled.

It was four years ago today that I received a phone call from a Los Angeles TV reporter that would change my life, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time.

The reporter said she had been told that CIGNA, the big health insurer I worked for back then, was refusing to pay for a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl, even though her

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The Man Who Wasn’t There, Part II: Q&A w/ Wendall Potter, Healthcare Executive Turned Whistleblower

From Phawker.com,  Part II of an interview with Wendell by it’s editor in chief, Jonathan Valania.

This is the second installment of a massive, 30,000 word, three-part Q&A with Philadelphian Wendell Potter*, former mild-mannered Cigna health insurance executive turned whistle-blowing superman standing up for truth, justice and the American way. (You can read Part I HERE.) You may have seen Mr. Potter testifying before Congress or talking about the ills of the health insurance industrial complex …

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Rick Perry Dodges Questions on Health Care, as Texas Falls Behind

I did exactly what the doctor told me to do. Unfortunately, I’m not feeling a bit better.  Maybe even a little worse.

Last week, Dr. Michael C. Burgess, tweeted this directive: “Mark your calendars: Rick Perry will join Health Caucus’ Thought Leaders Series next Wednesday, December 7 @ 5 p.m.

Eager to hear what thought leadership the Texas governor and presidential candidate would be imparting, I marked my calendar as Dr. Burgess prescribed. Imagine my dismay when I learned yesterday

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The Man Who Wasn’t There, Part I: Meet Wendell Potter, Healthcare Executive Turned Whistleblower

From Phawker.com, an interview with Wendell by it’s editor in chief, Jonathan Valania.

This is the first installment of a massive, 30,000 word, three-part Q&A with Philadelphian Wendell Potter*, former mild-mannered Cigna health insurance executive turned whistle-blowing superman standing up for truth, justice and the American way. You may have seen Mr. Potter testifying before Congress or talking about the ills of the health insurance industrial complex on CNN or MSNBC or PBS, or in the pages of …

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A Tired Playbook of Insurance Industry Scare Tactics on Health Reform

Claims of millions in new costs mirror flimsy food industry campaign from two decades ago.

If you wonder why the health insurance industry has to set up front groups and secretly funnel cash to industry-funded coalitions to influence public policy, take a look at the most recent results of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly Health Tracking Poll.

In its November poll, KFF added a few new survey questions to find out exactly which parts of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare are …

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‘ObamaCare’ Label is Sticking

Backers of the president’s health plan are losing the public relations battle.

The Kaiser Family Foundation just released the findings of its annual survey of businesses to determine how much the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage has gone up. There were some unexpected findings.

One was that the average cost of annual premiums for family coverage is now more than $15,000. The 9 percent increase in the cost of health insurance over last year caught many people by surprise, because

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Christmas Present: The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll of 2010

The Nation, January 10/17, 2011
January 10/17, 2011

Yesterday, we were alerted to Wendell’s inclusion in The Nation’s “Progressive Honor Roll of 2010.” His response: “What an unexpected honor! What a Christmas present!”

And it is. The Nation is America’s oldest weekly magazine and, at least according to its marketing folks, “the most widely read journal of opinion.” It was founded by antislavery abolitionists in 1865 and 143 years later won the prestigious 2008 National Magazine Award for public interest journalism.

John Nichols, The

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‘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 …

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A Verbal Slip on Countdown

What a difference a word can make — nothing short of the difference between good and evil.

During my interview on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Wednesday night, I explained the sinister work of an industry-funded front group to discredit Michael Moore as a filmmaker and citizen and especially of his 2007 movie Sicko. The PR firm hired by health insurers to do the evil deed set up and operated the front group, which it named “Health

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