To coincide with the national debate on health care reform, the UU Fellowship will show Bill Moyers Journal interview with Wendell Potter on Tuesday, January 19 at 7 pm.
Potter is former Vice President of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the country’s largest health insurance companies. In June 2009, he testified against the HMO industry in the U.S. Senate as a whistleblower.
There was a time, in the early 1990s, when health insurance companies devoted more than 95 cents out of every premium dollar to paying doctors and hospitals for taking care of their members. No more.
Since President Clinton’s health reform plan died 15 years ago, the health insurance industry has come to be dominated by a handful of insurance companies that answer to Wall Street investors, and they have changed that basic math. Today, insurers only pay about 81 cents of each premium dollar on actual medical care. The rest is consumed by rising profits, huge executive salaries, administrative expenses, the cost of weeding out people with pre-existing conditions and claims review designed to wear out patients with denials and disapprovals of the care they need the most.
This equation is known as the medical loss ratio (MLR), an aptly named figure that is widely seen by investors as the most important gauge of an insurance company’s current and future profitability. In a private health insurance industry that collected $817 billion this past year, a 14 percentage point difference in the MLR represents $112 billion a year! Over 10 years, that would be more than enough to pay for health reform.
The interview is shown as part of the UU Movies That Matter series at the UU Fellowship, 10341 Hwy. 42, Ephraim. All movies are free and open to the public. Discussion and opinions are invited.
Jon Walker vs. Wendell Potter on Democracy Now!
The progressive community is split over the $871 billion healthcare reform bill that passed the Senate last week. Some have lambasted the Senate for removing language that would have created a government-run health insurance program to compete with private insurers. Others believe the Senate bill is the biggest expansion of federal healthcare guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid over four decades ago and should be supported as a first step toward reform….