Non-profit

Center for Health and Democracy

Location:

Philadelphia, PA

President:

Wendell Potter

The Center for Health and Democracy is a left-of-center advocacy organization that supports enacting a national government-run health care system, also known as single-payer health care. The organization supports “Medicare for All” legislation sponsored by far-left Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The organization was founded by Wendell Potter, a former public relations executive in the health care industry who since 2009 has become an outspoken proponent of far-left government-run health care policies. [1] Aside from several board members listed on its website[2], Potter is the only individual associated with the organization, which is one of several he has created in recent years to market his books and press appearances. Other organizations Potter has created include Medicare for All Now and Business for Medicare for All, both of which are inactive, as well as the left-of-center investigative blog Tarbell. [3]

Background

The Center for Health and Democracy was founded in mid-2020 by government-run health care activist Wendell Potter. The organization was formed largely as a single- issue organization to support Democratic-led Medicare for All legislation in Congress. Potter stated that the organization would focus on promoting Medicare for All legislation and stressed the importance of messaging pro-universal healthcare talking points to media outlets as well as leading grassroots campaigns, claiming that the organization had a grassroots email list of over 100,000 names. [4] Potter also stated the organization’s intention to counter industry-led organizations such as the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future. [5] [6]

The board of directors of the organization includes Paul Song, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program; Rob Davidson, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare; and Vikrum Aiyer, the vice president of global and public policy and strategic communications at Postmates. [7]

People

The Center for Health and Democracy was created and is led by Wendell Potter. Potter started his career as a journalist in his home state of Tennessee before moving to Washington, D.C. to cover Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court for Scripps-Howard newspapers. Eventually, Potter left journalism to work in public relations at insurance company Humana before ultimately working for Cigna, another insurance company where he was the head of corporate communications. [8]

In 2008, Potter had a self-described “crisis of conscience”[9] that he claims led him to leave the insurance industry and become a left-leaning activist in opposition to the health insurance industry in the United States. [10] In 2009, Potter gave publicized testimony before Congress against the insurance industry and in support of government-run health care and has since written three books critical of the insurance industry and supportive of government-provided health care. [11]

In addition to the Center for Health and Democracy, Potter has formed other organizations include left-leaning investigative reporting blog Tarbell, and two-now defunct groups called Medicare for All Now and Business for Medicare for All. [12]

Activity

The majority of the activity of the Center for Health and Democracy centers around publicizing Potter’s media appearances, many of which describe him as the head of the organization. [13] The research page on the organization’s website does not have any content as of July 2021. [14]

References

  1. Winship, Michael. “Covid-19 ‘Has Laid Bare’ the Crisis of Healthcare in America.” Common Dreams. August 8, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/08/covid-19-has-laid-bare-crisis-healthcare-america ^
  2. “About.” Center for Health and Democracy. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://centerforhealthanddemocracy.org/about/ ^
  3. “Meet Wendell.” Wendell Potter Consulting. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.wendellpotterconsulting.com/meet-wendell ^
  4. Winship, Michael. “Covid-19 ‘Has Laid Bare’ the Crisis of Healthcare in America.” Common Dreams. August 8, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/08/covid-19-has-laid-bare-crisis-healthcare-america ^
  5. Winship, Michael. “Covid-19 ‘Has Laid Bare’ the Crisis of Healthcare in America.” Common Dreams. August 8, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/08/covid-19-has-laid-bare-crisis-healthcare-america ^
  6. “Research.” Center for Health and Democracy. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://centerforhealthanddemocracy.org/research/ ^
  7. “Board.” Center for Health and Democracy. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://centerforhealthanddemocracy.org/board/#DianeArcher ^
  8. “About.” Wendell Potter. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://wendellpotter.com/about/ ^
  9. “About.” Wendell Potter. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://wendellpotter.com/about/ ^
  10. “Wendell Potter.” HeatlhInsurance.org. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.healthinsurance.org/authors/wendell-potter/ ^
  11. Winship, Michael. “Covid-19 ‘Has Laid Bare’ the Crisis of Healthcare in America.” Common Dreams. August 8, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/08/covid-19-has-laid-bare-crisis-healthcare-america ^
  12. “About.” Wendell Potter. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://wendellpotter.com/about/ ^
  13. “In the News.” Center for Health and Democracy. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://centerforhealthanddemocracy.org/in-the-news/ ^
  14. “Research.” Center for Health and Democracy. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://centerforhealthanddemocracy.org/research/ ^
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Center for Health and Democracy


Philadelphia, PA