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Beyond Obamacare

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Wendell Potter (Photo credit: Robin Holland)

The re-election of President Obama and, just as important, the Democrats’ retention of control of the Senate, means not only that health care reform can and will go forward, but that the groundwork can be laid to move beyond the Affordable Care Act. Had the Democrats lost, the insurance industry and other special interests that profit from our dysfunctional and inequitable health care system would have been back in the driver’s seat, and they would have slammed on the brakes and shifted the car into reverse to go back to the (for them) good old days that led to the U.S. having the most costly system in the world while 50 million of its people were  uninsured.

The president’s re-election does not mean, however, that Obamacare will necessarily be implemented as Congress intended. Those special interests will now redouble their efforts to try to scare Americans into believing that the provisions of the law that might affect their profits will result in higher premiums. Expect to hear from insurance companies, for example, that Congress will have to allow them to continue their practices of discriminating against people because of their age. If not, coverage will become unaffordable for young families. Take it from me, they are very skillful at making us worry.

The president and congressional leaders will have to anticipate the special interests’ coming PR and lobbying campaigns and be ready with effective campaigns of their own to ensure that reform goes forward, not backward.


Wendell Potter left his job as head of communications for Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, to speak out against what he sees as an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. He’s now the Center for Media and Democracy’s senior fellow on health care, a senior analyst at The Center for Public Integrity, and author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. Potter first spoke with Bill Moyers about the healthcare industry back in 2009 and more recently was featured on our website in a Q&A about The Affordable Care Act’s Supreme Court challenge.

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  • cookiebaker

    Is the US active duty military health service a good example of excellent American single payer medical care? They take good care of the active military because they have a stake in their wellness. They also have been developing cutting edge techniques for severe trauma, that the civilian world is learning from-so no need to give up state of the art research and development in that system, either. I think that it is about priorities and investment in outcomes, not the payment system, that determines the strength and excellence in medical care delivery.

  • Christine Kuhlmann, RN

    I am a registered nurse and a small buisiness owner, and I am for Obamacare, (in principle) to decrease health disparities across the continuum of care. However, since “Obamacare’s” inception, my business health insurance costs have risen nearly 50%. That’s not a scare tactic. That is a fact. I offered state subsidized health insurance through the Healthy New York Plan to all of my employees, and got a 32% rate increase from calendar year 2011 to 2012, and will have another 17% rate increase this coming year. Because Healthy New York requires that the employer pay for 1/2 of the premium on all employees working more than 20 hours a week, and as a result of these increases which were OK’ed by the state, I am now not able to offer insurance to my part time employees. They are not entitled to medicaid because they make too much money, so they will be without insurance as of January 1, 2013. So although in principle affordable health coverage looks and sounds good, it sure isn’t without problems. It is not affordable to small businesses that were trying to do the right thing by offering insurance to every employee prior to the “Affordable Healthcare Act.”

  • Feather

    I really wish that they would listen to what the people of our country want. We will have affordable health care despite their efforts and money. Citizens are wise to their stories of lack and scarcity. We will continue to tell our new story of well-being for our country’s children, middle class, seniors, and young families. We are powerful creators and our intention to have affordable health care is unstoppable.

  • Jean

    Christine, I believe that this insurance premium raises (which are unconscionable, I agree) are not a result of Obamacare; they are a result of price gouging on the part of insurance companies *ahead* of Obamacare being implemented. I have heard of the same thing happening in California The parts of Obamacare that have already been implemented would not have had any affect on you yet, I don’t believe. This was pure greed on the part of insurance companies so that they could have a “new baseline” when they were required to start covering more people. I think the fault lies in the State approving ridiculous premium increases like this, not in any provision of Obamacare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.lund.391 Brian Lund

    Thank you for your article. Obamacare is a step forward, I agree. There is much we still need to work on. You accurately spelled things out.

  • chris

    These increases were approved by the state of NY Insurance board. When I rec’d notification prior to the implementation of price increases, the letter from the company that accompanied the proposed rates specifically stated that it was a result of the pre-existing condition clause. I really am for healthcare for all, but imagine getting into a car accident and then buying insurance. The pre-existing clause is much the same thing. The prices might come down once we can shop across state lines, and once the insurance pool is filled with 50,000,000,000 new policies that will be delivered to the insurance industry in 2014, but for the moment, my part time employees are out of luck.

  • John

    The parts of Obamacare that have been implemented do directly affect the cost of insurance. These changes are very minor in comparison to what is to come. The article above specifically mentions “age discrimination” in determining premiums as if it’s a lie that senior citizens have significantly more healthcare needs. I think the administration needs to hire some insurance actuaries so they can actually make national policy based on fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Decker/1222474358 Debbie Decker

    Implement Obamacare and keep fighting for universal health care

  • Sarah

    Like the corporations that threatened their employees with benefit cuts and layoffs if Mr Romney didn’t get elected, my son in law received a notice from his health insurance provider, days before the election, that stated his family coverage would triple, from nearly $200 per mo. to nearly $600, as a result of the new federal policy. It worked. Guess who they voted for. Scare tactics work. The war is on.

  • FactsareImportant

    To Christine, I just copied this from: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/full.html, are you utilizing these tax credits. It states it’s effective now.

    Providing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits. Up to 4 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits
    to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first
    phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35% of the
    employer’s contribution to the employees’ health insurance. Small
    non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25% credit. Effective now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1379024895 Jim Brown

    Totally agree!

  • ThePatriot

    The question is – will the Dems do a better job of selling the positive aspects and the data to the American people and the media than they have so far. The scare tactics of “costing middle class families” has resonance among the ignorant (which is a hell of a lot of us).

  • dj

    Jean,

    I agree! I have witnessed, first-hand, health insurance companies & big healthcare businesses increasing premiums & the huge array of co-payments ahead of Obamacare’s implementation.

    P.S. I highly recommend, Potter’s book, “Deadly Spin” re: Corporate/political destruction of American healthcare.

    Deb., RN

  • dj

    Please do a show on Obama’s ACA to address the rampant myths, its benefits, and the costs to Americans. Include perspectives from other countries with universal healthcare and their costs for care vs ours. Perhaps, even a comparative look at what we do spend our Fed $ on and the need to make better choices with our national budget. The “war at home” & fears with the ACA is unfortunate & overwhelming! Especially, here in WI, where Walker, surprise, has done nothing to implement it betting on the big money win!

  • Kathleen Walsh RN

    Christine Kuhlmann’s statement: Very good description of one of the major hitches in the PCA. How can we proceed to correct this? Create a coalition of health care providers who demand a correction to this dangerous aspect of what is essentially a worthy effort? As a registered nurse who provides mainly pro-bono care, I see-all too often- the malfeasance and inefficiency of the current system. Health care is not a business; it is a right and must be provided across the board. It must be designed and implemented with discipline and fiscal responsibility ..but must NOT depend on profit. The CEO of Wellspring [shamefully, a woman] hauls in a 6-figure income plus some kind of ‘bonus.’ Bonus for what? And why? I recall, with chills, watching her respond with unflinching arrogance to the Senate committee some time ago. Cut from some strange cloth, these folks, and we must take them to task. If many small biz came together-in tandem with providers?- to create a coalition to negotiate with the behemoths, we might get somewhere. The predators rely on fear and desperation among the population, mixed with the fact that so many are simply exhausted from all the difficulties encountered in just keeping intact from day to day.

  • Anonymous

    Health INSURANCE is not health CARE. Until we all get that into our heads it’s going to be profit driven. Insurance companies don’t make money writing checks.

    Yes, I’m on Medicare (and I love it) and I pay $135 a month, with 20% co-pay and a small deductible.
    My husband (through his employer) pays $300 a month, with at 30% co-pay and a $3000 deductible. Rendering the insurance useless to him.

    If every working citizen(full or part time) paid my paltry premium everybody could access health CARE. Those who want to purchase health INSURANCE for some perceived benefit would be free to do so.

    Chance of that happening with either of the candidates? Zero.

  • Anonymous

    Outcomes? Tell that to my beloved family practice doctor. With the bulk of his patients being old people (like me) who are never going to have a good outcome.

  • Anonymous

    Define “small” business. Small business as defined by the government is 250 employees (generalization). It seems to me a small business is far less grand. We should all them Micro Businesses. Even with these tax credits micro business or start ups still can’t afford insurance to their employees or themselves for that matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.dotson.9 Linda Dotson

    I live in Central VA…you do know that for anything other than a checked up or Flu visit people are referred to civillian facilites?

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.dotson.9 Linda Dotson

    You do know that Medicaid only pays at 1 to 3% for services?…You know….Medcaid…. the Governement Insurance plan….Someone has to pay for services…who do you think is going to pay for this?…really I want to know…Sweden..25% sales tax and 50.1% income tax…Canada…averg sales tax 15%, insurance at work is taxable income and if you do not have a drug plan you are paying $75 for amoxicillian for your child’s 7 to 10 day supply and god forbid it does not work the first round!…Who is paying for this?…40 % of small business have sales around 500K…not profit sales and their taxes are going to increase…So who is going to pay for this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.dotson.9 Linda Dotson

    I recommend reading Medicare site our governement has because that is reality not someones book…

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.dotson.9 Linda Dotson

    “discriminating against people because of their age”…So right this needs to stop. So can you please explain to me why Obamacare cut Medicare Rehab services to a max of $1880 as of Oct 1st, 2012?…Now I know that if you are T and P you can get Medicare no matter how old you are…So yeah its our Government Insurance is not discriminating against people because their age its just saying that you can only have one week of rehab if you have to learn to walk, talk and feed yourself no matter what age you are!!!…WAY to GO awesome system….Hope no family members have a stroke and need to learn to walk again!!!

  • Nikolai

    Would someone please tell me how, with all the new or increased taxes, the new coverage mandates (that are not necessarily actuarially sound), regulations, and federal bureaucratic management, Obamacare will drive insurance and health care costs down. These thisngs generally put pressure on goods and services to INCREASE in cost. 30-50 million previously uninsured will not likely improve the risk pool significantly, so that won’t be driving insurance premiums down, plus, most of these newly insured will likely receive subsidies, which will INCREASE the tax payer burden.

    I am a simple guy. Just tell me, from first principles of economics, how this works…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000105104611 Warren Jacobs

    Bastards!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000105104611 Warren Jacobs

    The financial reality is that premiums must go up. Health insurance corporations must show a profit for their shareholders,: it’s their mandate. And increased claims payments, lobbying efforts, political contributions, and public relations propaganda put ever increasing pressure on the bottom line.

  • Karen

    That is so dishonest . That is why I kept telling people to read the healthcare law and stop listening to the lies. . I think that scare tactics and bribery fall into the same rotten category .and should be punishable by law ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.h.phillips.5 Anita Henley Phillips

    The sharks are circling and know they are in for a rough time with healthcare change. I agree with you 100%! 1 RN to another. Healthcare should not be for profit. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.r.petersen Kelly R. Petersen

    We really don’t need any insurance companies to achieve excellent healthcare. Insurance companies add about one third to our health care costs. If we eliminated insurance companies and their high costs we could all save at least one fourth on our health care costs. Check out the link below to to watch the Bill Moyers series to see how this could be done.

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/healthcare/

  • http://twitter.com/dancer4909 Diana Sherrod

    I have been certified in healthcare quality for 15 years – outcomes refer to following standards and patient satisfaction not on life or death – that is up to God.

  • http://twitter.com/dancer4909 Diana Sherrod

    There is also the rebate for those who do not have claims in excess of 80% of the premiums. If the employer is paying a portion of the premium they can elect to keep or share this rebate with the insured.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarrieBear714 Carrie Krivit-Wainfor

    yes…the military gives exceptional medical care ( yes,I’m Ret USAF medical field) but a lot of bases do not have medical facilities for dependents. They are in military towns, lots and lots of Dr.s accept TRICARE. If a man or woman choose to be in the military, they deserve A+ care, and whoopsie if deppies don’t

  • Tristen

    Thank you, Diana…because should they make the medical community follow “outcomes” like we in education have to, the country would be SCREWED.

  • SteveW

    single payer is the only prospect of fixing the health care problem. if you paid 2,400 dollars a year, that is 200 dollars a month in health care premiums for every man woman and child in the u.s. it would cost you 800 billion a year. you could pay for it with a 6 percent sales tax or v.a.t. tax. you just fixed health care. instead we let obama pander to trial lawyers and the insurance companies, that is why the price won’t go down because you can’t buy insurance across state lines. A nice kiss to the insurance companies. instead we will pay out 1.2 trillion just in medicare, that does not include medicaid or the the v.a. system. until we fix our political system we will not fix the major problems of the united states. a billion dollars spent on this election and nothing has changed. the joke is on the american people who are under the ilusion they are picking the next president. a congress with a 17 percent approval rating, a president who never talked about his 4 years in office, or his plan for the future 4 years and yet lauched a vicious attack upon his opponent and these people find their way into office again? the result of this election is the nation continues to decay in every sense of the word and the status quo of big money and big power brokers continue to destroy this country.

  • Olymoly

    How about if members of congress were required by law to be on the same medical plan that is available to their constituents?
    Think that might lead to something more equitable and non discriminatory??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664746728 Winter Green

    I lived for over 20 years overseas in a country with Direct Health Care. I returned in 2009. Then I was fortunate to read T.R.Reid’s Healing of America, non-political, informative about different health systems worldwide and the 4 different ones in the US: VA, Medicare/medicaid, Employer/employee and User Pay.

    There is no doubt if proponents of health care for all had just said ‘Medicare for all’ more people would have understood the goal. I still don’t understand ‘Single Payer’ or ‘Public Option’. The messaging from the Health Care Reform advocates has never been clear.

  • sabine

    Implement Obama’s health care plan and improve on it in terms of containing costs. No program is perfect for starters, but it is an improvement. Which advanced modern country does not have health care for all of its citizens? Name one!

  • Sherry Jones

    I can only express my relief that President Obama was reelected! I was ready to move to Belize as I am not interested in suffering under another Republican regime…..ever. I keep asking myself why we cannot imagine free national health care in this country, and I keep coming up with the same old answer…..big money rules. The only wealth-leveling system we have is our tax laws, and they favor the already-wealthy. In the simplest societies in history, hoarding wealth was an obscenity; I think it still is.
    We pay for over-lapping health insurance coverage….I am still working at age 67 and my employer’s insurance premium is deducted from my check; we pay Medicare and a gap premium and spend over $400 a month. My friend in Canada thinks we are nuts in this country.
    President Obama is courageous in his endeavor to reform health care and take on the “don’t touch it, don’t ask about it” health care industry. I wish him all the luck in the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Lowery/1462824193 Tom Lowery

    Linda – You are completely wrong about Sweden. Corporate tax is 26.3%; individual tax is based on TAXABLE INCOME, and varies between 0%-57%; payroll tax, which reduces the amount of taxable income, is 31.42%; and sales tax is 25% or 12% or 6%, depending on what is being sold. Please get your facts straight before spreading misinformation as it only serves to create issues where there are none.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Lowery/1462824193 Tom Lowery

    The single payer system is far too flawed to be of real value. However, a MULTI payer system, like that of numerous countries in Europe, is a solution that could work well for the USA. http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/aba_health_esource_home/greenberg.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Barrand/1509189120 Keith Barrand

    Obamacare was what we got as a compromise from what we should have had all along; universal health care along the lines of Medicare. Or at the very least, the public option. Healthcare for anyone’s profit other than the provider’s is immoral.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.altstock Randy Altstock

    Obamacare can only be successful if we can suspend the principle of indemnity, the law of supply and demand, and the law of unintended consequences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.altstock Randy Altstock

    I would have to guess you have never had to depend on the military health care system.

  • Anonymous

    If people have access to good primary care, chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart failure can be treated before a crisis hits. Most of our healthcare dollars are spent on crises. One dollar spent on primary care can save 10 dollars in acute care down the road. This is not a new idea; it is basically “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If everyone has health insurance to pay for routine doctor’s visits, cancers will be caught before they spread, infections will be caught while they can still be treated easily with oral antibiotics, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dean.swift.33 Dean Swift

    Most of Congress didn’t even read the bill before passing it, the Senate didn’t
    vote on the final version, the CBO has already raised the estimated cost of the bill by a power of 10. The bill was supposed to help provide “affordable” health care, but it doesn’t. It’s time for Congress to read the bill, and figure out which provisions are really going to help people, and get rid of the provisions that will only cost all of us far more than we can afford.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1166367861 Laurel Hogan McDonough

    Yeah, well it didn’t work well enough, thankfully!

  • taxpayer

    Now that we will see the healthcare mandate come to fruition, who is going to make smoking and obesity illegal and require motorcycle helmets? Since we are paying for this, I believe we now need to evaluate some civil liberties.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/34FNV2AAT7D3EQQFM3VKL6FCGI WilliamC

    the sky is falling the sky is falling

  • Anonymous

    Members of Congress have the same insurance available to all other federal employees and being insurance, it has to follow the rules in the Affordable Care Act like all other insurances. They pay premiums also. Not all members utilize what is offered to federal employees. One of my Senators is on his wife’s policy because it is just the two of them and her’s covers more of their needs. The only free health benefit they get, beyond the no co-pay that the ACA requires, is a small clinic that dispenses bandaids, aspirin , and responds to emergencies, much like what many large companies offer.

  • Anonymous

    Profits, yes. Obscene profits and un-ethical practices, no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.t.hays Cheryl Thurner Hays

    It might be an indication of how bad it really is. Not only congress, but unions are exempt also. WHY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.t.hays Cheryl Thurner Hays

    Linda,most people just believe what obamas administration tells them. THAT is the problem! Sheep

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.t.hays Cheryl Thurner Hays

    Tom, is that what you want for America?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.t.hays Cheryl Thurner Hays

    The sky HAS fallen!

  • Sunflower

    The insurance industry not only profits from our “dysfunctional and inequitable health care system” it is the author of that dysfunction and inequity. The manipulation has been broad and longstanding; from who regulates them (states have less resources to fight them so they got regulation to be awarded to the states) to age and sex based premium structures (remember “community rating systems to mitigate that for consumers?). None of their own “cost containment” programs have worked to keep premiums or costs down. They were more effective at maintaining levels of profit. Coincidental? Our provider system revolves around that industry’s requirements.

    Their own research (actuarial staff) tells them who will be profitable and who will cost more than their personal premiums can support or their system support profitably. These people they have tried to keep out of the insurance system.
    Yet they cannot get behind a single-payer system that would include all, no matter its potential benefit to the populace at large: more efficient record keeping and communication of need, more access for working and poor people, more ability to detect and prevent fraud.

  • Propagandist and Chief

    My boss is an ObamaHater and doubled our payroll deduction so he can say it’s Obama’s fault. I don’t know what employers can and can’t do since Obama got elected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harmony.moldenhauer Harmony Moldenhauer

    EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS PLANET DESERVES EXCEPTIONAL HEALTH CARE!! NOT JUST MILITARY FAMILIES!! THEIR LIFE IS NO MORE IMPORTANT THEN ANYONE ELSES, AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE PUT ABOVE OTHERS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF A JOB THEY THEMSELVES CHOSE TO DO. MILITARY FAMILIES ALREADY GET WAY MORE THEN THEIR SHARE OF SPECIAL TREATMENT, THEY DO NOT DESERVE BETTER MEDICAL CARE THEN CIVILIANS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dutterman Denny Utter

    I think profiting off of people’s ills is sick. Greed and inefficiency is what drives up the cost. Rather than trying to cough up the money, how about we take out the profit motive instead?

  • charlene

    Christine, how do your premium changes/increases relate to Obamacare? The Affordable Healthcare Act doesn’t go into effect until 2014 – what you are seeing are increases due to the insurance companies and possibly new laws from your own state. As far as I know, this has nothing to do with Obamacare. Except that the insurance companies may be scared and are trying to raise premiums as much as possible before 2014?

  • http://www.facebook.com/webby7712 Richard Webster

    Yea well tell this to the 18,500 workers at hostess,this admin is a joke ,it has been for 4years and its gonna get alot worse,you liberals need to open ur eyes for once !!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.mcintyre Bruce A McIntyre

    Hostess tried to bust the Unions and now it’s all their faults. Unfortunately, they failed to mention the pay raises for their CEO and other top officials. “The then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.”

    I smell something funny. Anyone else have an idea that they will manage to reopen under “new” ownership and not allow union workers? Hmmm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jicky.czar.5 Jicky Czar

    You conservatives need to shut your mouths for once!!!!!!!!!

  • JJC

    Seriously?? You believe the garbage spewed by the gilded corporations. Read history. If more of you conservatives did, you would know that it was unions who ended child labor, forced the greedy corporations to be fair. But thanks to ignorant conservatives, since Regan the corporatists have been able to kill unions. And still you blame workers. Pathetic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sally.clark.12382 Sally Clark

    It was the workers who kept Hostess afloat as long as it did stay afloat. The four CEO’s who got those huge wages were not able to save it. Perhaps giving up their extreme amounts of money to help the workers survive could have saved the company.

  • Guest

    It would make Paul Ryan change his tune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Owen/100001423675688 Will Owen

    This one, so far. “Obamacare” is a step in the right direction; the obvious goal is something like Medicare for all. However, as long as we continue to have a healthcare INDUSTRY instead of a healthcare SYSTEM we’ll still be in the woods to some extent. No, we don’t have to kill the industry – just render it totally optional, as in several other countries. You want to buy a nose job, or jump the line for cataract surgery? Step over there and have your credit card ready …

  • Julia Cartmel Jester

    Thank God for Obama Care! It keeps my husband out of the donut hole so he can afford his breathing meds.If it weren’t for Obama Care he wouldn’t afford his meds for the six months he would be in the hole.He would die because he can’t breath without his meds.You rich people that don’t like Obama Care have never been in the situation where you had to depend on the government for your insurance like medicare.If your not rich and you are bitching about this,just wait until your on Medicare and you will understand what i am saying.Think of your poor old parents or grandparents.It means getting to live longer for them.Stop your bitching and be glad they have Obama Care!

  • Julia Cartmel Jester

    I totally agree with you Kelly! Insurance companies are getting rich off the poor people.My husband and i are both on medicare,and there is no way we could afford regular insurance.Another form of insurance that is a big rip off is term life.After you reach the age of 74 years old they cut your insurance off! This is not right.You have paid all this money in for all these years and end up losing everything.You end up screwed in the end.You might as well just let the government bury you because you won’t have insurance anyway unless you die before you are 74.Your family still ends paying for your funeral and the insurance company gets to keep your hard earned money.They are getting rich off the poor man.This sure as hell needs to stop!If you want life insurance for the rest of your life you have to get whole life and it’s so damn expensive only the rich can afford it.So there again the rich man gets it all and poor man gets screwed!

  • Julia Cartmel Jester

    In Greece you can walk into any super market or drug store and buy our prescription drugs right off the shelf.My daughter lived in Athens for six months and she said you never get prescriptions there because you can buy it all, over the counter.The pharmacies here are getting rich off the drugs.If they sold them like Greece does they couldn’t put the mark up on them that they do.Why can’t we buy them over the counter too? They don’t allow any preservatives in their meats or any other foods they sell.it is all fresh when you get it.They grind your hamburger while you wait.Here they add all the crap into the meat and it makes a pound of meat become ten lbs.They are getting like 40.00 dollars for a lb. of hamburger meat instead of the four they should be getting.I know wonder our bodies are still intact after we have been dead for 30 years.We are well preserved when we die. That’s why we die! All we are living on is preservatives.Then they charge God awful prices for the health insurance when we have to use it for becoming sick from their preservatives.Talk about a Monopolly! And it’s on every Americans life! It’s a win,win situation!

  • Julia Cartmel Jester

    Really! This is so true!Why can’t Americans have these benefits too? We are richer than the other countries.I guess this is the reason,but we sure as hell don’t get any of it!

  • Julia Cartmel Jester

    ObamaCare has already allowed the gap or hole to be closed.This is done through part B of medicare.Obama allowed this part to work for us now!

  • Judy Kaye

    Blue Cross has already sent out information saying that Obamacare will increase premiums. It disturbed my niece enough that she sent me an email about it. She knows I’m on medicare and it worried her. I told her then it was just another attempt to discredit the President’s achievement and that was before the election. .

  • http://twitter.com/Tourville Tourville

    .

    The
    Problem is that both Democrats & Republicans changed our LAWS
    governing TRADE & LABOR so to then LEGALLY enable u.s.corporations
    to ABANDON THE AMERICAN WORKFORCE.

    G.H.W.Bush
    & Bill Clinton destroyed the ‘ Managed Economy ‘ and threw the
    Nations National Wealth Generating Abilities under the Bus ..
    handing
    off America’s Manufacturing Base to Asia . . so both Congressmen &
    Senators at that time could become stupidly wealthy using Insider
    Information on which Manufacturing was OFF SHORING .. the
    Senate_Congressional Personal Stock Portfolios were then LOADED with
    these OFF SHORING participants…who got TAX PAYER FUNDS to move their
    FACTORIES to DICTATORSHIP NATIONS at the Expense of Our Nations Economy
    , Governance and Future.

    This
    ‘ Move ‘ by both Parties KNOWINGLY created UNSOLVABLE UNEMPLOYMENT ,
    DEFICITS , MASS POVERTY WITH 1 IN 3 AMERICANS NOW IN POVERTY , 1 IN 3
    AMERICAN CHILDREN NOW IN POVERTY.

    We now get roughly 400,000 New Unemployed Americans every 30 days .. for the past 5 consecutive years.

    Both
    Parties KNEW the Consequences of this Action against the Nation ..
    Reagan’s Congress REFUSED .. G.H.W.Bush’s own Congress REFUSED ..ex CIA
    director BUSH got easily bought off BILL CLINTON to sign the Nation into
    Economic Decay & Poverty and he willingly did so for personal gain.

    Our
    ‘ Jobs Committee Chairman ‘ GE CEO Immelt is GUTTING the NATION OF
    CORPORATE MANUFACTURING .. HANDING OFF ENTIRE CORPORATE DIVISIONS ,
    RESEARCH , DESIGN , MANUFACTURING , SALES .. TO DICTATORSHIP NATIONS
    WHILE TELLING OUR GOVERNMENT THAT THEY WILL NEVER RETURN TO THE UNITED
    STATES.

    THIS
    BEHAVIOR AT ANY OTHER TIME PRIOR TO JIMMY CARTER WOULD HAVE THOSE
    SEEKING SUCH BEHAVIOR BEING BROUGHT UP ON CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE CHARGES.

    THE
    TWO PARTIES THRU G.H.W.BUSH_BILL CLINTON ARE GUILTY OF GENERATING
    RACKETEERING LEGISLATION AGAINST THE ECONOMIC STABILITY & SECURITY
    OF OUR NATION , FOR PERSONAL GAIN & CONTINUED EXPANDED CAMPAIGN
    FINANCING DONATIONS BY CORPORATE SPECIAL INTERESTS.

    STRIPPING
    OUT OUR HISTORIC NATIONAL WEALTH GENERATING ABILITIES – OUR ENGINE OF
    PROSPERITY – OUR LARGE DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING FOR EXPORT HAS DESTROYED
    OUR NATIONS NATIONAL WEALTH – DE FUNDED OUR WORKFORCE – DE FUNDED OUR
    GOVERNMENT AT ALL LEVELS .. PLACED GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS IN POVERTY
    ..

    AND
    NEWS MEDIA CHOOSES TO PANDER TO THESE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISES OF OUR
    ELECTED – POINTING ONLY TO ” THE VERY WEALTHY WHO SHOULD HAVE THEIR
    TAXES RAISED ‘” ..

    THE
    OFF SHORING CORPORATIONS PAY VIRTUALLY ZERO TAXES !! OVERSEAS SALES
    TAX PITTANCE PAID TO THOSE BASED GOVERNMENTS ARE REPAID TO THE
    CORPORATIONS USING U.S.TAXPAYER FUNDS .. AND .. WHATEVER SALES TAX IS
    COLLECTED GOES TO THE CAYMAN ISLAND TAX AVOIDANCE ACCOUNTS – CREATED BY
    CONGRESS_SENATE FOR U.S.CORPORATES WHO STRIP JOBS OUT OF THE NATION.

    GET YOUR GOD DAM PRIORITIES RIGHT .. MAIN STREAM MEDIA .. AND TAKE THESE FACTS TO THE PUBLIC DAY IN AND DAY OUT .

    RIP
    THE FACES OFF THOSE TURN COAT BOUGHT OFF ‘ ELECTED ‘ WHO’VE RUN OUR
    HOME NATION INTO THE GROUND & THROWN AWAY MANAGED ECONOMY FOR
    PILLAGING & LOOTING OUR NATIONS COFFERS.

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2L1OBw/www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/wach/jobs-czar-sends-american-jobs-to-china571/

    .

  • http://www.facebook.com/vj.sleight Vj Sleight

    Congress will have to get their health insurance from the same exchanges as the public once the ACA is fully implemented.

  • iClick

    What does Health Ins have to do with Hostess? What does this Admin have to do with Hostess?? NOTHING… unless of course you are mainlining FauxNews.

    Spend 5 minutes and read some actual facts.

  • http://gplus.to/novenator novenator

    Forward!

  • REBEKAH.MAJORSMANLEY

    OBAMACARE- MADE ME BE EVEN MORE OF AN ACTIVIST THAN EVER BEFORE- SO PROUD OF AMERICA FOR FIGHTING FOR IT. SO PROUD TO HAVE A TRANSFORMATIONAL PRESIDENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE- FOR OBAMACARRE AND SO MANY OTHER IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES

  • http://www.facebook.com/crawfordpa Ruth Shackelford Crawford

    I am a retired Federal Employee and I still get my health insurance through the government sponsored heath plans. There are dozens of health insurance companies that we could pick from (like Blue Cross/Blue Shield) and as long as I had coverage and paid my premiums for at least 5 years before I retired I was able to continue my coverage. This is the same options ALL members of Congress have. They can sign up or not BUT they too pay their share from their salary.According to what Obamacare says, I will be able to keep the insurance I have. I won’t have to change to any exchange.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crawfordpa Ruth Shackelford Crawford

    Are your employees paying anything? If not, then it might be better for you to share the increases with them instead of completly cutting them off from any insurance at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.frings.1 John Frings

    Mr. Webster, It is you who have been taken in by the right wing spin machine and all the lies and dissembling they do. Hostess is in trouble because it was mismanaged by people who cared only to suck every drop of profit out of it, lining their own pockets while asking their employee’s to work for substandard wages, While they asked employee’s to make sacrifices they increased their salaries by as much as 300%. Hardly what I would call due diligence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.frings.1 John Frings

    Once again we have a company trying to extort money from whatever source they can. And then of course blame the rank and file employee’s. The executives of Hostess should be investigated and hopefully indicted for fraud and whatever charges they can come up with. And no country club prison for these scum. Hard time.

  • dusterdog

    richard you got to have a brain to open your eyes man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkelco Karen Marhefka Kelco

    They damn well better!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkelco Karen Marhefka Kelco

    THANK YOU CHRISTINE! These people are missing the point.Small business is already getting screwed! They are taxed to death and now health insurance is going to bite them.And… folks who do you think is ultimately going to pay for all of this?You don’t EVER get something for nothingThe corporate moguls are in business for 1 reason and 1 reason only,to get rich.When they can’t do that anymore they’ll close their doors and sit home waiting for the goverment to take care of them like everyone else.The small business owner is trying to build something but can’t compete with the mega stores and goverment subsidized industries so they eventually fail too.We need a flat tax with regulations for keeping the rich from sending their money out of the country and stop large corporations from outsourcing.I’ve been an ER nurse for 25 years and the illegals and dirtbags are raping our system and come in for hang nails! They don’t even know when to give their kids a Tylenol and won’t go to the store to buy it cause they want it for free.You think Obamacare is going to change that?It’s all about morality.You can’t MAKE people do the right thing.There are givers and takers in the world and I’m sick to death of the takers! Want better healthcare? Stop BS like MAGNET,pure PR bull that keeps nurses from delivering responsible,cost effective care and allowing us to reel in the abusers, just so they get good Press Ganeys! And stop JCAHO from collaborating with the insurance companies( If you aren’t JCAHO accredted you can’t participate in medicare) More PR BS that overburdens nurses with busywork instead of patient care.Why does this exist? Because just like every other industry, there are nurse who want fame and fortune too! You think Doctors are going to go out the door for peanuts? Look at the statistics for how many are already leaving the field.Who would incur the cost of that education and what it costs to start a practice if their not making big bucks?And why can I go to Mexico and buy medication without a prescription for pennies on the dollar? Not because of socialized medicine,it’s because we need to reel in the parmaceutical companies!Bottom line? wait till your taxes go through the roof to pay for the lazy.As soon as the insurance companies stop making big money they’re going to close their doors too,more layoffs and unemployment.So ultimately the goverment will be in the insurance industry for all healthcare.Socialism does not work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Patterson/100001142376890 Debbie Patterson

    no they dont, berry let them opt out, so they dont have to carry the insurence

  • CalLord

    I want to know if Mr. Potter is making more money now or when he was with Cigna. That will tell me if he is really sincere or just singing for the choir.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lanie940 Elaine Steskal

    Keep fighting for single payer. I am so tired of Fox News and the rest of the liars telling lies. they should all get very sick and have humongous medical bills.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathryn.lewis.71 Kathryn Lewis

    Senator Ted Kennedy was the originator of Universal Health Care. We should not allow his work to be in vain.

  • dougsworld

    Leaders of red states are already lining up to make this a difficult process. 20 yrs from now when we look back on this, many hearts will be filled with shame.

  • Anonymous

    Kinda sounds like Bain Capital, doesn’t it?

  • alex

    Like our premiums didn’t go up every year, anyway..

  • Ali

    Thank you for this valuable information and exposing these crooks and their corrupt system based on greed.

  • JAMEJO

    Besides your message being full of contradictions, you miss one major point: health insurance companies are not in the business of making people healthier, just of making money off someone’s misfortune. Look at Medicare = the operational, administrative, costs are less than 10% of the premiums they take in, somewhere around 7%/ That’s about 7¢ pf every dollar paid to the managers, etc. In regular, everyday insurance, the one we are buying now, it’s over 30%. Sometimes well over. And how does that 30¢ of every dollar benefit us? Not eight times what Medicare costs, let me assure you. It’s “profit” and money in the pocket of investors and managers, not medical care. It wouldn’t hurt for us to lose medical insurance companies . . . they’ve just been able to insinuate themselves into our lives in every way, and we’ve come to accept it as a necessary evil. A very expensive evil. And like the devil, they will work their wiles to convince people they are a necessity. They ain’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.iwen.7 Ben Iwen

    insurance≠care. people who think more insurance is the way to go do not understand healthcare. did you know you “conservatives” were for this type of healthcare “reform” in the 90s? did you know that before the 1960s, before medicare/caid, no one was turned away from healthcare facilities and care was far cheaper in real dollars than today?

    also, for you people saying that insurance companies said they were going to raise their prices because they wanted you to vote for romney, who would have KEPT THE MAJORITY OF OBAMACARE, you do realize that insurance companies have to let you know if they raise their prices? this is because more of obamacare is being implemented on january 1st 2013. and then you tell people to “actually read the bill.” yes, because you have read all 1000+ pages of it yourself.

    also, you all do realize that more regulation makes things more expensive as well as limits the amount places you can buy things. all of your “right vs left” arguements are stupid because no one actually thinks about the issue, rather you think “what does my side think.” pathetic.

  • MrTdrf

    Members of Congress have good health insurance by any standard, but it’s not free and not reserved only for them – and it’s not government insurance. House and Senate members are allowed to purchase private health insurance offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which covers more than 8 million other federal employees, retirees and their families. They have a full choice of medical plans and companies, just as any large employer would offer. The FEHBP currently offers the best plan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Russ-Klettke/1485497701 Russ Klettke

    Social media is proving to be effective in combatting egregious corporate and political deception. Wendell Potter is a knowledgeable and credible source on this.

  • theedman

    look at the Euopean model… why would we want that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.peavy Jerry Peavy

    Yes, they can opt out. Then they will have to purchase their own insurance!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.peavy Jerry Peavy

    If your insurance rate went up 50%, you are being ripped off! Very Little of the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect yet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.peavy Jerry Peavy

    Universal Health Care is the only option because it is the only version that will eliminate the insurance companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandy.kelley.796 Sandy Kelley

    Moyers….what a nasty little communist. And a drunk, to boot.

  • Laurance Strait

    But the insurance companies are the major beneficiaries of the ACA. No way they would reverse it if given the opportunity.