Tuesday, August 11, 2009



TOP: L to R: Edward Hanway; Stephen Helmsley
BOTTOM: Angela Braly,

This is a post about private health care, everybody, so before you read this, take your blood pressure medication and an aspirin, put your Depends on, and have a seat. Better grab some Immodium AD, too. I don't want any accidents here. Ready? Here we go...

The persons shown above are ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE. Why? Because they are one of a number of major reasons your health insurance premiums are so high and are ever-rising, and why you are gradually being forced into ever-higher deductibles and co-pays. Yes, they provide for you, but you pay for it dearly, because they provide amptly for themselves at your expense. They are responsible, directly or indirectly, for the reason a public option for universal health care is having such a hard time getting passed in Congress. They are also directly or indirectly responsible for the exclusion of millions of people from health insurance coverage, and for millions of others finding that some or all of their doctor-prescribed treatment will not be covered. They, rather than your physician, are directly or indirectly responsible for the length of your hospital stay. Finally, they are directly or indirectly responsible for coverage being abruptly canceled for those in the middle of long, expensive, and ongoing medical treatment for a serious condition like cancer. These are the Chief Executive Officers of some of America's largest health insurance companies. They are an unholy trinity of profiteers who view their first priority as maximizing and increasing already gigantically huge profits for their companies, and their second priority as providing necessary health care for you. I will introduce these people here now, and provide details on their own exorbitant personal incomes, which you, the insured, pay for. I hope you will remember them next time you make an insurance premium payment, see a doctor, or go to the hospital. THEY ARE YOUR ENEMIES.

EDWARD HANWAY (evidently looking skyward at his growth in profits, salary, and stock options)
5 year compensation total as of 4/30/08: $ 120.51 MILLION
Unexercised stock options: $ $28,881,00
Value of NJ Beach home: $$ 13,607,400
Hundreds of entertainment industry workers in CA and NJ who buy as a group got hit with a rate increase which raised same family-plan premiums to more than $14,000 per year!

CEO, United Health (insurer of 70,000,000 Americans)
2007-2008 salary totals: $ 16.4 MILLION
Total value of unexercised stock options: $ 744,232,068
2009 options exercised: $ 127,001,068
Value of Wayzata, MN home: $ 6.64 MILLION
His company has spent a whopping $12.6 MILLION on lobbying to defeat health care reform since 2007, and the funding for this has come from its own premium payers - YOU, if this is your insurance company! Are you getting your money's worth?
His company has been fined numerous times over the years by the federal and state governments for violating prompt payment laws, wrongfully denying 133,000 claims, and delaying payment of both customer and physician claims.
Featured in some detail in the new film by Brave New Films called "Sick For Profit" - check it out!

CEO, WellPoint
2007-2008 salary totals: $ 18,938,483
2006 sale of stock = $ 4,858,585
Value of Indianapolis, IN home: $ 1,987,700

Sorry if you soiled your pants, folks. I was pretty shocked when I saw these figures too. I found them at the Sick For Profit website (http://sickforprofit.com/). As you can see, the real beneficiaries of our private health care system are the health insurance corporations themselves and their vastly overpaid boards of directors, NOT YOU. And certainly not those whom they have excluded from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, or those whose coverage has been cut due to their treatments for medical conditions lasting too long or becoming too expensive for the insurance companies' liking.

Part II of this installment will follow very soon, and will feature 3 more examples of executives just like those highlighted in this segment. Watch for it, and tell your friends about it (especially any of them who think a not-for-profit public option is so bad or say they'll shout down any upcoming Democratic Congresspersons' Town Hall meetings dealing with health care reform)!


SJ said...

Great post; A welcome oasis in this current desert of nonsense and lies.
I'm glad I can always count on you for the facts and the figures, Jack.

While there may be many sides to the truth, there is only one side to the facts.

Vigilante said...

Don't forget Karen Ignagni. I'll try to send you a better photo by email!

Vigilante said...

Ah.... Can't find your email address. Send me something at mine, or 'Friend' me on FB!

Max's Dad said...

Hey Jack. I deal with those dimwits at Cigna on a daily basis. They are the most unfeeling bunch of alleged human beings I can imagine. Every day they show their lack of a soul to me. I despise them almost as much as Kaiser Permanente. Keep up the great work.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for the very kind words. I hope to always remain an oasis in the barren, dry desert of conservative, right wing lies. I love that last sentence of yours! Keep up the fight!

Jack Jodell said...

Vigilante, thanks for that link. There are numerous holes in Ms. Ignagni's argument which I will touch on next time.

Jack Jodell said...

MD, I hate insurance companies and greedy pharmaceutical companies too, and I can't wait until their ability to profit off of the system is scaled waaaaayyyyy down! Keep up the fight, my friend!