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Former Health Insurance Exec Comes Clean About The 'Lie' He Sold To Americans About Canada's Single-Payer System

PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou via Getty Images

In a string of tweets, a former executive of Cigna Health just shared the dirty details of the insurance corporation's past efforts to sway public opinion about healthcare in the United States.

Wendell Potter, who according to one tweet "left [Cigna] in 2008 when [he] finally developed a conscience," claimed that he decided to divulge the company's history of deception after witnessing the ongoing brutal effects of the pandemic in the United States.

Specifically, Potter explained how and why Cigna Health used circumstantial evidence and pointed messaging to make average Americans skeptical of single-payer healthcare, a nationalized system where the government foots the healthcare bill for all citizens to ensure that everyone is covered.

Potter's Tweets show that the corporation vilified neighboring Canada's single-payer system to ensure the U.S. maintained its contrasting approach to private insurance based healthcare, where Americans pay private, for-profit insurance companies like Cigna Health to provide coverage.

Potter began the tell-all by setting the record straight on lies and truths.

"Amid America's #COVID19 disaster, I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec: We spent big $ to push the idea that Canada's single-payer system was awful & the U.S. system much better. It was a lie & the nations' COVID responses prove it."
"The truth: Canada's doing much better than the U.S. when it comes to #COVID19 testing & treatment. On a per capita basis, more Canadians are being tested & fewer getting sick & dying. This may shock Americans who still believe the lies I told about the Canadian health care system."
"Here's the truth: Our industry PR & lobbying group, AHIP, supplied my colleagues & me with cherry-picked data & anecdotes to make people think Canadians wait endlessly for their care. It's a lie & I'll always regret the disservice I did to folks on both sides of the border."

He then illustrated what he felt were the accurate key differences between U.S. and Canadian healthcare.

"In Canada, no one gets turned away from doctors due to lack of funds. In America, exorbitant bills are a defining feature of the system. What about quality of care? When it comes to #COVID19, there's been ~ 21 deaths per 100,000 in Canada, versus 34 per 100,000 in the U.S."
"Remember, in Canada there are no co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance ever. Care is free at the point of service. And those laid off in Canada don't face the worry of losing their health insurance. In the U.S., millions are losing their jobs & coverage, and scared to death."

To close the rant, Potter looped back to the pressing nature of the current national crisis.

"You learn a lot about a healthcare system when a global crisis hits & different nations have different results. Canada's single-payer system is saving lives. The U.S. profit-driven corporate model is failing. I'll regret slandering Canada's system for the rest of my life."

Potter followed the string of tweets with a clarification about his current ethos,

He also added a video elaborating on the same information.

People on Twitter were glad to hear some honesty.

But they certainly didn't leap to give him a pass for his past complicity.



Canadians of Twitter were active as well.

They came forward to confirm his statements.






Unfortunately Potter's revelations will not affect sweeping change overnight. For now, the pandemic rages on across the U.S. with that old "failing model" firmly in place.