Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chupacabra Report

I saw Elizabeth Edwards on The Daily Show last week and she mentioned a CEO of a health insurance company who made so much money a couple of years ago that it worked out that he was paid one out of every seven hundred dollars the company received in premiums.

I found the story. In 2005, Dr William McGuire’s compensation as CEO of UnitedHealthcare totaled $124.8 million. This story didn’t exactly raise eyebrows in the business press because much of it came in the form of stock options, and Dr. McGuire had done a good job of growing the company, which now insures some 70 million Americans.

Hey, UHC was my insurance company back then. I remember getting socked with higher premiums every year, but there was nothing unusual about that either.

-But here’s the good part; in 2006 the SEC forced McGuire to resign after management was caught backdating hundreds of millions in stock options. McGuire had to relinquish his options, repay $468 million, and was barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for ten years. But don’t worry about him, his exit compensation of over a billion dollars set a record for golden parachutes.

So this summer when Pharma and the HMOs start flooding the airwaves with the latest “Harry and Louise” commercials trying to whip up fear of “socialized medicine,” remember that the difference between the healthcare systems in other advanced countries and the bloated inefficient travesty we pay through the nose for is profit and overhead, like Dr. McGuire’s take.

Why not take a few minutes to email your congressman and tell him that you want this year’s healthcare bill to include a public option to compete with the for-profit companies. That way, if the HMO’s don’t stop stealing and screwing us, we can all migrate to the public plan. Wouldn’t it be funny if the “market-based” solution was a single payer plan?


At 5:30 PM , Blogger Lulu Maude said...

Chilling revelation. What a fucking greedy country we are.


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