In the world of for-profit health insurance, there is an obvious tension between maximizing corporate profit and giving people proper care. Wendel Potter, ex-executive from Cigna in charge of corporate communications, sheds some light on this problem with his book “Deadly Spin” – an evenhanded yet riveting account of the inner workings of the health care insurance industry.
The truly terrible incident that caused Mr. Potter to leave the industry was a case of Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17 year-old girl who was denied an operation for a liver transplant that gave her a 65% chance of survival because the insurance company would not pay for the procedure. The storm of bad public relations Cigna got after their decision forced them to reverse their decision, however, it was too late. The young girl died.