While “wellness” is rightly celebrated in Asheville in [the March 27] Mountain Xpress, wellness in Western North Carolina and beyond is again threatened by a renewed push by the Trump administration to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. If Obamacare is struck down, an estimated 20 million more Americans would go without health insurance, popular provisions like protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be gone, and a huge portion of the U.S. health care system would be faced with a chaotic scramble to adapt.
In addition, given the recent sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare, many regional residents are rightly concerned about how a huge private corporation will affect health care in WNC. One local health advocacy organization, HealthCare for All WNC, has responded to citizen anxieties by arranging for a national critic of for-profit medical corporations to speak in Asheville.
On Wednesday, April 10, Wendell Potter, former vice president of communications for health insurance giant Cigna, will speak on Transforming Healthcare in America at two public forums in Asheville. These free events will occur at 2-3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, and 7-8:30 p.m. at Lenoir-Rhyne University Conference Room, 36 Montford Ave. (Chamber of Commerce building), Asheville.
Potter is currently the president of Business Initiative for Health Policy. His best-selling book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, discloses how insurance companies maximize profits by restricting care and use deceptive tactics to undermine health care reform.
We who want universal affordable health care must learn more about the possibilities for “health care for all” as an option to the failing for-profit system in our country. New legislation is being brought forward in the North Carolina legislature and U.S. Congress to expand Medicaid and to fund “Improved Medicare for All,” respectively.
— Frank L. Fox