IMPORTANT: While many of us fought for major reform to our broken health care system (and President Biden campaigned on a public option), nothing has happened on the federal level.

But! Serious action is happening in the states. Most recently: Nevada. Here's why that matters:
The Nevada Option was just signed by its governor, and will lower premiums & cover 350k uninsured Nevadans. The bad news? The fight wasn’t easy, as the industry poured millions into propaganda to confuse voters.

The good news? We now have a blueprint for how to beat them back.
To counter the industry's lies (that are designed to protect their profits), we at @cforhd testified before the legislature, ran ads, wrote op-eds, wrote to legislators, distributed posters & beat them at their own game. The lesson is clear: We can win this battle elsewhere, too.
With the feds inactive on this issue, other states are taking matters into their own hands, too. The "Colorado Option" is expected to be available in 2023. There's also talk that New York has enough votes to establish a single payer system, if Albany leaders will allow a vote.
But the real point here is that it's time for the president and congress to take on the glaring problem staring them in the face: On the heels of a deadly pandemic, our *national* health care system is a recipe for suffering, death and bankruptcy. And it's time to fix it. Now.
These victories in the states show that the powerful insurance industry can be beaten with the right message, focus & tactics. We now have a playbook for how to win. And the moral high-ground on our side.
The only question now is: Do our national leaders have the political will?

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More from @wendellpotter

19 May
Congrats, America! Two days after Tax Day, you’ve made it to... Deductible Relief Day! 🍾🎉🎊

What's that?

It’s the day where the average person with employer-based health insurance has spent enough on health expenses to finally meet their deductible.
Health insurance deductibles have been rising so rapidly (year after year after year) that the Kaiser Family Foundation (@KFF) decided to track the trend to show how severely Americans are getting ripped off (and sick).

And it’s bad:…
As you might guess, the Deductible Relief Day is being pushed further each year. In 2005, you had to wait until Feb 28. By 2009, you wouldn’t be popping champagne until March 18. In 2019, you had to wait even two months more than that.
Read 9 tweets
29 Apr
In last night's speech by @POTUS, something stood out to me that was overlooked by many pundits: the president spoke of the NEED to fix sky-high health insurance deductibles immediately. It's not the sexiest topic, but here's why it matters:
Many think that the only ones suffering in this health care system are those without insurance. They're struggling big time, but know who else is? People with BAD insurance. The fact is, millions of Americans can’t use their coverage because their deductibles are so damn high.
These millions of Americans with bad plans don't go to the doctor or get the care they need, like cancer treatments that could save their lives. Why? Because they don’t have enough money to cover their deductible: the amount you have to pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in.
Read 7 tweets
19 Apr
Get this, my former health insurance industry colleagues are trying to intimidate lawmakers again - this time in Connecticut - because the state government has the gall to consider a public health plan that could compromise some of the industry’s massive profits. It's despicable.
If I were still in my old job as head of comms at Cigna, I bet I would have had to write a self-serving letter to Connecticut’s governor – signed by the country’s biggest insurer CEOs – implying that they'd consider taking jobs out of the state if they don’t get their way.
And that’s just what happened. The PR chiefs of those companies wrote to CT’s governor & tried to intimidate him. This is the kind of stuff that made me leave the industry & become a whistleblower. I couldn't stomach misleading Americans so a few rich people could get even richer Image
Read 9 tweets
15 Apr
Democrats are not yet on the same page about what health care reform proposals to include in their infrastructure bill. As a former health insurance executive, I’ve got a suggestion: lower deductibles and co-pays. And do it fast.
Some Democrats seem to be turning a blind eye to the fact millions of Americans WITH INSURANCE can’t use it anymore.
A favorite campaign talking point last year was that 150 million Americans have private insurance and don’t want to lose it. What most politicians avoided saying is that more and more of those Americans can’t use their insurance.
Read 11 tweets
9 Apr
The only reason you’re seeing this Tweet by me is because of a man named Stan Brock – whose work inspired me to leave my old job as an insurance executive.

Few people in my life have been as consequential as Stan. And he’s been even more consequential to thousands of others.
A remarkable movie about him has just been released, and I hope you’ll watch it.

"Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story" is screening nationwide til April 20 as part of the Cleveland International Film Festival @CIFF and it’s in competition for the festival’s Global Health Prize.
Stan, who starred in the popular TV series Wild Kingdom when I was a kid, went on to found Remote Area Medical in the ‘80s to fly doctors to remote parts of the globe. He was shocked when folks from the US started begging him to bring free medical care to their communities.
Read 9 tweets
23 Mar
10 years ago today, on the 1st anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, I wrote about the good things the law did, but stressed that we needed to view it as only the *starting* point of a journey toward needed reform.

Unfortunately, we have not made much progress on that journey.
Although ~20 million now have health insurance as a result of the law, a huge growing percent can’t use that insurance to get the care they need. That’s because Congress & the Obama admin were too focused on premiums... exactly what the insurance industry wanted them to focus on!
Focusing on premiums meant that Dems gave scant attention to how insurers would pick Americans’ pockets by jacking up *deductibles* year after year. In fact, deductibles are patients’ biggest struggle now, more than having enough doctors in-network, or even the price of premiums.
Read 10 tweets

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