"I owe the American people an apology."  Health insurance executive apologizes for creating argument against Medicare for All.

As someone currently going through the process of "choosing" a health insurance plan through an employer, I can attest to the fact that "choice" is a pretty misleading word when it comes to healthcare.

Thankfully, I don't have to wonder if I'm just being finicky.

Wendell Potter, former vice president for communications at Cigna Healthcare, has taken to Twitter to explain how the "preserving choice" talking point in U.S. healthcare discussions is meaningless. How does he know? Because he helped come up with it.


Check this out:

"Lately I've noticed some Democratic politicians defending the current healthcare system by saying it preserves 'choice' for Americans," he wrote. "As a former health insurance exec who helped draft this talking point, I need to come clean on its back story, and why it's wrong and a trap. When I worked in the insurance industry, we were instructed to talk about 'choice,' based on focus groups and people like Frank Luntz (who wrote the book on how the GOP should communicate with Americans). I used it all the time as an industry flack. But there was a problem."

RELATED: If Americans understood how absurd our system is, we'd all be demanding universal healthcare

"As a health insurance PR guy, we knew one of the huge *vulnerabilities* of the current system was LACK of choice. In the current system, you can't pick your own doc, specialist, or hospital without huge 'out of network' bills. So we set out to muddy the issue of 'choice," he continued. "As industry insiders, we also knew most Americans have very little choice of their plan," he explained. "Your company chooses an insurance provider and you get to pick from a few different plans offered by that one insurer, usually either a high deductible plan or a higher deductible plan."

Yyyyup.

"Another problem insurers like mine had on the 'choice' issue: people with employer-based plans have very little choice to keep it. You can lose it if your company changes it, or you change jobs, or turn 26 or many other ways," he explained. "This is a problem for defenders of the status quo. Knowing we were losing the 'choice' argument, my pals in the insurance industry spent millions on lobbying, ads and spin doctors — all designed to gaslight Americans into thinking that reforming the status quo would somehow give them 'less choice.'"

Interesting. I'm not the only one starting to feel a bit ragey here, right?

Potter went on to share an advertisement from a campaign, explaining, "An industry front group launched a campaign to achieve this very purpose. Its name: 'My Care, My Choice.' Its job: Trick Americans into thinking they currently can choose any plan they want, and that their plan allows them to see any doctor. They've spent big in Iowa."

"This isn't the only time the industry made 'choice' a big talking point in its scheme to fight health reform," he continued. "Soon after Obamacare was passed, it created a front group called the Choice and Competition Coalition, to scare states away from creating exchanges with better plans."

The rage. It burns.

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"The difference is, this time *Democrats* are the ones parroting the misleading 'choice' talking point. And they're even using it as a weapon against each other," Potter pointed out. "Back in my insurance PR days, this would have stunned me. I bet my old colleagues are thrilled, and celebrating. The truth, of course, is you have little 'choice' in healthcare now. Most can't keep their plan as long as they want, or visit any doctor or hospital. Some reforms, like Medicare For All, *would* let you. In other words, M4A actually offers more choice than the status quo."

FOR THE LOVE. GET IT TOGETHER, AMERICA.

Potter signed off explained how all this political talk of "choice" serves no one but the insurance industry.

"So if a politician tells you they oppose reforming the current healthcare system because they want to preserve "choice," either they don't know what they're talking about — or they're willfully ignoring the truth. I assure you, the insurance industry is delighted either way."

For the umpteen-millionth time, the U.S. is the only developed nation not to provide some form of universal healthcare to its citizens, we pay twice as much for healthcare than other high-income countries, and our health outcomes are not any better for it. We need universal healthcare and we need it now. And we need to thank Wendell Potter for breaking ranks with his former industry and sharing this insider information with all of us.

Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the announcement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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When an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 most people who lived in the area fled. Some left without their pets, who then had to fend for themselves in a radioactive nuclear zone.

Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue the cats abandoned by his neighbors and has spent the last decade taking care of them. He has converted his home, which is in a contaminated quarantine area, to a shelter for 41 cats, whom he refers to as "kids." He has buried 23 other cats in his garden over the past 10 years.

The government has asked the 57-year-old to evacuate the area many times, but he says he figured he was going to die anyway. "And if I had to die, I decided that I would like to die with these guys," he said.

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