Wendell Potter is a former health insurance executive who had a “crisis of conscience,” becoming disgusted with America’s broken healthcare system after years of helping the industry mislead Americans.
Wendell walked away from his job at Cigna, one of the country's largest health insurers, in 2008 and became a vocal critic of the insurance industry and a leading advocate of reform.
Time Magazine called Wendell “the ideal whistleblower.” Bill Moyers called him a straight shooter. Wendell famously testified about his shocking revelations of the nation’s healthcare system in front of Congress, and is a bestselling author.
In June of 2009, Wendell shocked the nation in a very big way when he went public with what he knew about the healthcare system. In a riveting Congressional testimony, Wendell described how insurance company executives, in their quest to meet Wall Street’s profit expectations, routinely canceled the coverage of policyholders who got sick.
He went on to disclose a common but little-known practice that industry executives called “purging” behind closed doors. Under purging, insurance companies used big price increases to force small businesses with sick workers to drop their policies.
Potter also explained how insurance companies flouted regulations designed to protect consumers and how they intentionally made it nearly impossible for consumers to get the information they needed about their policies in a language they could understand. Wendell’s testimony became a key building block in the case for expanding healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.
Wendell went on to become a bestselling author. The New York Times called his first book, Deadly Spin, “a tour de force.” Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin called his most recent book, Nation on the Take, “a stirring guide for how we can work together to reclaim our democracy and reunify our country.”
Wendell Potter is determined to change the course of healthcare in America. Through the Center for Health and Democracy, he continues his work of the last decade to fix our broken healthcare system for Americans and to shine a light on the underhanded practices of big corporations and other moneyed interests that frustrate the efforts of the richest country in the world from providing basic universal healthcare for all its citizens.