A former health insurance exec is incensed at the industry's alleged manipulation of public opinion regarding the current health care debate.

Wendell Potter, a 20-year industry veteran of who previously served as VP of corporate communications at CIGNA, was in Washington at the request of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., this week to discuss insurers' public relations tactics with House colleagues.   

Potter, who resigned his post last year due to frustration with the industry's attempts to kill congressional efforts that might affect its profits, lambasted insurance companies for their deception and greed.

"The industry is using shills and front groups to spread lies and disinformation to scare Americans away from the very reform that would benefit them the most," he said at a Capitol Hill news conference. Their goal, he added, is to stifle all reforms that might endanger profits, including the formation of a government-run insurance option.

In a recent CNN interview, he also rapped insurers for their use of "hot words, buzzwords, [and] buzz expressions that they know will get people upset."

Potter is currently a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy, a health care watchdog group, and blogs about health care reform.

Earlier this year, he testified before the Senate Commerce Committee alleging he knows from personal experience that "Congress and the public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the insurance industry."

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