Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It
By Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman
American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how their time is spent. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.
In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to an army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete. No one--except some lobbyists and major political donors--likes business as usual, and this book aims to help forge a new army of reformers who are compelled by a patriotic duty to fight for a better democracy.
An impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, Nation on the Take lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America's original promise.
Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans
By Wendell Potter
That's how Wendell Potter introduced himself to a Senate committee in June 2009. He proceed to explain how insurance companies make promises they have no intention of keeping, how they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and how they make it nearly impossible to understand information that the public needs. Potter quit his high-paid job as head of public relations at a major insurance corporation because he could no longer abide the routine practices of the insurance industry, policies that amounted to a death sentence for thousands of Americans every year.
In Deadly Spin, Potter takes readers behind the scenes of the insurance industry to show how a huge chunk of our absurd healthcare expenditures actually bankrolls a propaganda campaign and lobbying effort focused on protecting one thing: profits. With the unique vantage of both a whistleblower and a high-powered former insider, Potter moves beyond the healthcare crisis to show how public relations works, and how it has come to play a massive, often insidious role in our political process-and our lives.
This important and timely book tells Potter's remarkable personal story, but its larger goal is to explain how people like Potter, before his change of heart, can get the public to think and act in ways that benefit big corporations-and the Wall Street money managers who own them.
Obamacare: What's in it for Me?: What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act
By Wendell Potter
On January 1, 2014, the most important consumer protections in ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) go into effect. With both supporters and opponents of the law debating its merits and its controversial rollout, there is a need for “news-you-can-use” types of resources from credible third parties.
Enter Wendell Potter, author of Deadly Spin and former health insurance executive. Obamacare: What's in It for Me? is the authoritative source for Americans needing to know how the law will affect them and their families: How will it affect the millions of Americans who already have coverage through their employers? People who work for small companies that don't offer coverage? The unemployed? People who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, some of whom may find that coverage costs them more than before? Older Americans not yet eligible for Medicare, many of whom will be able to get much more affordable coverage? Medicare beneficiaries? Low-to moderate income individuals and families? People with pre-existing conditions? Children?
As a former insurance industry insider and now a recognized expert on ObamaCare, Wendell Potter is perfectly positioned to explain to a wide audience, hungry for the real story (without the spin), of just what this health care overhaul means for all of us.