The Battle of Vermont

I was sent this interesting article about Vermont’s attempt to start a “single payer” health insurance system.   It was written by Wendell Potter, former head of PR for CIGNA for twenty years.   Here are some interesting tidbits about the behind-the-scenes propaganda that goes on at these big time insurance companies:

  • “Part of the strategy is to get key groups of individuals to begin raising doubts, to get Vermonters to second-guess themselves. Among the first groups the insurers have targeted are those most easily spooked — certain business owners and physicians, especially specialists who thrive in the current system”
  • “Insurers and employers have been collaborating for the past several years in a mutually beneficial effort to shift more of us into high-deductible policies. The higher the deductible, the less insurers and employers have to pay for our care. This collaboration has been so successful that increasing numbers of American families filing for bankruptcy are, at least theoretically, insured.”
  • “Ironically, this skin doctor (dermatologist)  joined other physician specialists in arguing that health care costs would never stabilize until patients had “more skin in the game,” a term my former colleagues used frequently as we tried to spin the “advantages” of high-deductible plans.”

First, I agree that the insurance companies are killing us.  Second, I wonder what this dude made at Cigna and if he is giving it back now that he had this epiphany.  Third, I still need to be convinced that a single payer system will work because our citizens want what they want, when they want it and want it for free.  That would not fly in other countries who use this type of system.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “The Battle of Vermont

  1. William Ritter, MD
    February 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Wendell Potter is the author of: Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

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