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Privatizing profits, socializing risk, health care edition

DCblogger's picture

Insurers don't like to 'share'

The current mantra of those who support our private insurance model for health care is "shared responsibility." Their goal is to ratchet up the amount that individuals will have to pay for medical costs, by buying insurance policies that have higher deductibles, larger co-payments, and higher costs for prescription drugs. What "shared responsibility" is about is maintaining insurance company profits.

Under pressure from Wall Street for disappointing earnings during the first quarter of 2008, CEOs from the two largest health insurance plans, United Health Group and Wellpoint, told investors last week that they would "continue to protect their (profit) margins" and "not sacrifice profitability for membership" i.e., they aren't going to hold down premium increases to keep members on their rolls. Wellpoint's CEO, Angela Braly, also said that her company's market power would give it the ability to lean hard on its network doctors to accept lower reimbursements. What she didn't add was that her predecessor, retired CEO Larry Glasscock, left Wellpoint in 2007 with a $23.9 million farewell package. The private insurance model benefits neither patients nor doctors.

How much healthcare could your state buy with $23.9 million dollars?

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Submitted by hipparchia on

give or take, since they're 2005 numbers, but that kind of money would buy one year of medicaid for approximately:

  • 18,000 kids, or
  • 11,000 adults, or
  • 2500 old folks, or
  • 2000 disabled people.

last year the u.s. spent a little over $7000 per capita on health care, so glasscock's golden parachute could have paid for health care for roughly 3400 other people.

a side note: $23.9 million is approximately 500x the median household income in the u.s. [note to self: 1 ceo = 500 families]

Submitted by lambert on

That's a good number.

One CEO is worth 5000 people? Can we afford the rich any more?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by hipparchia on

if he were any good, he'd be managing a hedge fund or a private equity company.

All told, Cerberus has a controlling interest in more than 45 companies that employ more than 250,000 people and generate $50 billion in revenue each year, more than the sales of Microsoft, Motorola or PepsiCo. The fund has earned an average annual return of about 22 percent over the last seven years, according to its marketing materials, and Institutional Investor magazine estimated that Mr. Feinberg took home a $75 million paycheck in 2004. The executive ranks of Cerberus include former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and former Vice President Dan Quayle.

no, we really cannot afford these people.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

"The executive ranks of Cerberus include...former Vice President Dan Quayle."

Kidz: Y spel gud? Know kneed two. Mayk beeg bux f U cn Spel - "Hedge Fund". Thx. Dan

Submitted by hipparchia on

but sumtymez u do gotz 2 wunder f teh cat capshunners all tuk spellng lessuns frum teh qwayle

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

considering that was the three headed dog which guarded hell that is a unbelievable name for an investment fund. How does Lambert put this, it is called an investment vehicle because it is designed to drive away with your money.

Incidentally, former treas sec Snow was previously the CEO of CSX corp., one of the very few companies that lost money during the 90's. Snow spent his tenure dumping CSX stock. He is a study in failing upwards.