Greg Palast conducted this interview with health insurance industry executive-turned-crusader Wendell Potter in the fall. The bill voted into law last night is the Senate bill Potter critiques. Potter, in the end, decided that the law is better than nothing. But listen up and get an earful of the real story: the insurance industry is secretly licking its chops over the new Health Care law.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW
Dan Brown, The Independent (UK)
Check out Palast’s original commentary, The S-Word and Dr. Kevorkian’s Accountant: Health care Rx from my socialist fire department.
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
News flash: Wendell Potter tells Greg Palast why the insurance industry is secretly licking its chops over the Health Care bill.
Tell me where it hurts, Mr. President.
What’s killing you, Barack, is what’s killing us all: an evil germ called “Medical Loss Ratio.”
“Medical Loss Ratio” [MLR] is the fancy term used by health insurance companies for their slice, their take-out, their pound of flesh, their gross – very gross – profit.
The “MLR” is the difference between what you pay an insurance company and what that insurer pays out to doctors, hospitals and pharmacists for your medical care.
I’ve totted it up from the raw stats: The “MLR,” insurance companies’ margins, is about to top – holy mama! – a quarter trillion dollars a year. That’s $2.7 trillion over the next decade.
Until the 1990’s, insurers skimmed only about a nickel on the dollar for their “service,” Wendell Potter told me. Potter is the CIGNA insurance company PR man who came in from the cold to tell us about what goes down inside the health insurance gold mine. Today, Potter notes (and I’ve checked his accuracy), porky operators like AIG have kicked up their Loss Ratio by nearly 500 percent.