Monday, November 22, 2010

Here is an email worth forwarding

Not sure about the date mentioned, so check your local listings, as they say.

Please Tune in Tonight at 8 PM EST to Watch CMD's Wendell Potter on MSNBC Discussing the Insurance Industry's Campaign against Michael Moore's SiCKO and Health Reform

Monday, November 29 8:00 PM EST MSNBC

Dear Friends of the Center for Media and Democracy:

I am writing to let you know about our fellow, Wendell Potter, and news coming out of his new book, Deadly Spin. I don't send along an invite to watch every TV appearance Wendell has had over the 18 months he has been fighting insurance industry spin with the Center for Media and Democracy, but this one is special. It's about the PR war against Michael Moore's film SiCKO and new revelations about the industry's tactics--games it is still playing with our health care and our lives. So, I hope you will tune in tonight.

I am also including a short excerpt from Wendell's detailed report published on today's about the anti-SiCKO campaign and the recent complaints of the insurance industry about the revelations in his book. I hope you'll take a moment to read it please. On our home page, Wendell's post includes a never before published photo of Wendell with Michael Moore at the film's launch in Michigan, which Wendell attended for the insurance industry in 2007 as part of their scrutiny of Moore's expose of the U.S. health care industry.

As Wendell notes: "I need to apologize to Moore for the role I played in the insurance industry's public relations attack campaign again him and Sicko, which was about the increasingly unfair and dysfunctional U.S. health care system. (I was head of corporate communications at one of the country's biggest insurance companies when I left my job in May 2008.) And I need to apologize to health insurers for failing to note in my new book, Deadly Spin, that the front group they used to attack Moore and Sicko -- Health Care America -- was originally a front group for drug companies. APCO Worldwide, the PR firm that operated the front group for insurers during the summer of 2007, was outraged -- outraged, I tell you -- that I wrote in the book that the raison d'être for Health Care America was to disseminate the insurance industry's talking points as part of a multi-pronged, fear-mongering campaign against Moore and his movie. . . ." To learn more about these groups and their machinations, you can click here.

Thank you again for all of your support for Wendell and the Center for Media and Democracy on exposing the insurance industry's extensive spin. With your support, we are continuing to work to protect the best improvements that were obtained in the compromise health reform bill despite the industry's multi-million dollar campaign against the more comprehensive reforms we and our allies called for and the industry's ongoing disinformation efforts.


Lisa Graves

P.S. Here is a revealing excerpt from the Boston Globe's recent review of Wendell's book:

"With senior executives focusing on this core mission of serving investors, notes Potter, corporate balance sheets are healthier than ever. Between 2000 and 2008, as private insurers jacked up premiums by over 90 percent, payments to care providers grew by only 72 percent. The industry’s CEOs have looked out for number one. In 2007, the top dogs at the 10 largest publicly traded insurers took home in compensation a combined total of $118.6 million. Nor did the recent recession cause them much angst. Profits for the five biggest insurers totaled a staggering $12.2 billion last year, up 56 percent from 2008. Potter doesn’t mince words. Based on his two decades in the industry, he is convinced that managed-care companies are fundamentally dishonest. In spellbinding Senate testimony in summer 2009, he explained how “insurance companies make promises that they have no intention of keeping, how they flout regulations designed to protect consumers . . . and how they ‘purge’ small businesses when their employees’ medical claims exceed what underwriters expected.’’


CMD was founded to fight corporate PR spin and propaganda. We do not accept any donations from for-profit corporations and rely on concerned people like you to support our work. You can find CMD online at,, and and on Facebook under the "Center for Media and Democracy."

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