A challenge for hard-core Republicans

mapleleaf's picture

There is a group of people, among us, who, no matter what he tries, find fault with everything –and I do mean “everything”— that President Obama tries to do. They have made up their mind to be negative and obstructionist. It is thus no surprise that they would oppose any healthcare insurance proposal he would make.

One reason, among many, healthcare costs are out of control is the egregiously large salaries that private insurers pay their executives, especially their chief executive.

Right now the Wellstar hospital system (big in Cobb County) is battling Aetna, just as the Piedmont hospital system was battling Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia two years ago. The helpless pawns, in these fights, are the patients.

Tracking the compensation of the CEO of Aetna, one sees that in 2008 he took in $24,300,112 while in 2007 he got $23,045,834. That makes it easy to understand why Aetna wants more money than Wellstar is willing to pay. It explains a lot of things.

The Georgia Blue Cross system is owned by Wellpoint, Inc. Wellpoint paid its CEO $9,844,212 in 2008 versus $9,094,271 in 2007. It’s only the Aetna CEO’s compensation that can make this look half-way reasonable.

I never see a single Republican denounce these excesses. Never. Absolutely never.

At a time when most people’s income was declining, including the government’s income, these fat cats were increasing theirs. The hard-core Republicans nodded.

There are three more big healthcare insurers, namely United Health Group, Humana and Cigna.

The Cigna CEO reduced his compensation from $25,846,460 in 2007 to $12,236,740 in 2008. His Humana counterpart reduced his from $10,312,557 to $4,764,309. And the United Health CEO went from $13,164,529 in 2007 to $3,241,042 in 2008.

There is no sense of outrage among hard-core Republicans about any of these figures. This money is not manna from heaven, it is money that comes out of the pockets of the public, including some of our local Fayette county folks. Many of us pay higher premiums than we should, and some doctors receive less than they should. All because of these fat cats.

Obviously, some sort of sickness has taken hold of some of our neighbors, stripping them of any glimmer of intelligence, or sense of proportionality, or sympathy. Like programmed robots, they stick to the one track in their minds, and rant on.

It’s a pity.

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NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 11:37am.

......isn't universal. Frankly, what a company and its Board of Directors and shareholders/owners wants to pay their CEO isn't my concern unless I happen to be considering buying the stock of that company. They can pay them 500 million a year if they'd like to for all I care. If they decide to pay what the MARKETPLACE deems excessive and what other companies feel is too much, then competitors will pay their CEO's less in order to have a potential savings and competitive edge. Works for me.

Typical envy of those making the huge bucks. I'm sure there are a lot of CEO's wondering what happened to the good old days of the whining nobodies who have zero clue about supply and demand and basic economics complaining about the contracts of professional athletes instead. Oh gosh, but what about the teachers? They are more important than blah blah blah, another argument that also completely ignores economics.

Why aren't Repubs complaining about executive compensation? Could it be due to the fact that Repubs don't want the government determining executive compensation and feel like the owners instead should do that? Nahhhhh...that couldn't be it! This has nothing to do with companies that accept conditional bailouts and govt ownership....once that happens and you become controlled by the government at your own choosing, yeah, the government sure can dictate what people are getting paid because in that case the shareholder/ownership IS the government.

inomedounou's picture
Submitted by inomedounou on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 9:30am.

Where do you think the initial funding for these "Health Care Reform" projects is coming from? Not the taxpayers. WE are the ones who will be paying it back. The Obama administration continues to print more and more money to fund it's pet project of the week. In the midst of an economic downturn and lagging economy, the lawmakers are more focused on "an apology for slavery" and a celebration to follow, than they are fixing this situation. Granted, an apology may be warranted, but is now the time to be focussing on such self-gradifying resolutions?

Submitted by Spyglass on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 8:55am.

So I don't fit the premise of your question. That said, what a company wants to pay its CEO for compensation is usually spelled out in a Contract. Said Contract is usually agreed to at some point by all parties involved, payer and payee. Are you trying to say that we shouldn't have employment agreements? Or are you just jealous your skill set doesn't match these employees?

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