From Publishers Weekly
The disinformation campaigns with which health insurance companies hide misdeeds and manipulate public policy are laid bare in this searing j'accuse by one of their own. Potter, a former CIGNA public relations "spin-meister" whose whistle-blowing congressional testimony made a splash, takes us into the war rooms where he and his fellow flacks battled bad publicity--their counterattack against the documentary Sicko included employee training in how to weather a Michael Moore ambush--and fought to stymie health-care legislation. (He helped formulate the rhetoric of socialism and death panels that thundered from Republican podiums.) He exposes the PR pros' propaganda tricks--fake grass-roots organizations, bogus scientific studies--and recounts his shame-faced repentance. But he also trenchantly critiques the failure of America's for-profit health-insurance system: the underhanded methods insurers use to "dump the sick"; the skyrocketing premiums and deductibles that put health care beyond the reach of millions; the obscene salaries executives rake in while denying benefits to patients. These criticisms aren't new, but Potter's street cred and deep knowledge of the industry make his indictment unusually vivid and compelling. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Potter, 20-year public-relations executive for two of the largest for-profit health-insurance companies, presents an exposé of America’s health-care system, which he contends is dominated by corporate greed and human indifference. He ridicules the notion that America’s free-market system can provide actual health care within a for-profit structure. Beginning in 1993, he was a leader in efforts to kill any reform legislation that threatened corporate profits and recounts unscrupulous efforts in 2007 that led him to leave his job. Potter, an investigative reporter before entering PR, explains why it is vital to understand the role of PR and “spin” in our lives, how to recognize it, and what to do about it. Although the author concludes that one day America will have excellent and equitable health care, it will take time and vigilance to force large, powerful corporations to be transparent in their activities. This whistle-blower perspective will heighten discussion and debate on the vital topic of health care in America. --Mary Whaley