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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BENEFICIARIES OF PRIVATE HEALTH CARE (Part II)

"TAX THE VERY WEALTHY TO MAKE EVERYONE HEALTHY!"
- VIGILANTE, SOZADEE, CA -






TOP, L TO R: Allen Wise; Ronald A. Williams
BOTTOM: Karen Ignagni; Michael McCalister


This is my second consecutive inlstallment on the true beneficiaries of private health care. They are the persons shown here, NOT YOU. If you're insured, they benefit with immense salaries YOU pay for through your premiums. They are the ones who directly or indirectly cause you to pay ever-higher premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. They are the ones who directly or indirectly have your coverage stop if it gets too expensive for their liking. They are the ones who directly or indirectly decide how long your hospital stay will be, and whether or not you will get the type of treatment, or the dosage of medication your doctor prescribes for you. They. too, are the ones who are attempting to prevent the passage of a universal or public option health care reform bill in Congress. If you're NOT insured, remember that they are the ones who have, directly or indirectly, excluded you or have made premiums so ungodly high you can no longer afford their "coverage". THEY ARE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE. These are the Chief Executive Officers of some of America's largest health insurance companies. Three 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. An additional CEO here is an aider, abettor, and parasite of these companies: she is the CEO of a very powerful Washington, D.C. firm raking in the cash lobbying for the big insurance companies against health care reform, especially against a public option. I will introduce this batch of profiteers to you now, and, as I did in part I of this installment, will provide details on their own exorbitant personal incomes, which you, the insured, are paying for. I hope you will remember these people next time you make an insurance premium payment, see a doctor, or go to the hospital. THEY ARE YOUR ENEMIES!


KAREN IGNAGNI
CEO, America's Health Insurance Plans (a lobbying firm).
Annual salary: figures unavailable for current salary or profits, but her 2005 salary was $ 1,236,422 according to CNNMoney, of February 15, 2006. You can bet your grundies that her salary has risen tremendously as the demand for her "services" has exponentially increased with the advent of Obama's push for health care reform, and she is one of the key health care lobbyists!
She opposes a windfall profits tax on health care insurers (naturally)!
------------
Some of her revealing quotes:
"It [an across the board cut in health care spending] doesn't have to happen right away, but having a commission, having a mechanism would give every stockholder group an incentive to create more productivity, to reduce unit costs and to create more efficiency."
(AHHH - SO STOCKHOLDERS AND CORPORATIONS ARE THE MAIN CONCERN HERE? WHAT ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED? AREN'T THEY IMPORTANT TOO? WHERE IS THEIR INSURANCE COVERAGE UNDER THIS DELAY YOU ARE RECOMMENDING, KAREN? SOUNDS LIKE THE OLD BUSHONOMICS ARGUMENT OF "LEAVE THE MARKET ALONE AND IT WILL POLICE AND FIX ITSELF." WE ALL KNOW WHAT A CROCK OF BULL THAT WAS)!
"It is hard to envision any kind of publicly sponsored option...that wouldn't rely on administered pricing...we are kidding ourselves if we think underpaying providers means cost-containment."
(WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR PRECIOUS HEALTH INSURANCE HOSTS ARE DOING RIGHT NOW WHEN THEY DICTATE TO DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS WHAT THEY WILL PAY, KAREN)?
"It would be irresponsible to [have the insurance industry cut premiums by a set amount] unless we knew that cost would be cut by [that same] amount because premiums are driven by cost."
(PARROTING THE OLD INSURANCE COMPANY INFERENCE THAT DOCTORS AND NURSES ARE THE REASON FOR HIGH MEDICAL COSTS, EH, KAREN? WHAT ABOUT THE EXCESSIVE SALARIES OF INSURANCE COMPANY BOARDS, OR OF PARASITIC BLOODSUCKERS LIKE YOU LOBBYISTS, KAREN? ALL OF YOU MAKE MORE MONEY THAN MOST DOCTORS)!

ALLEN WISE
CEO, Coventry from 1996-2004, and again since January, 2009
2004 salary: $ 13,052,799
2004-2006 sales of stock: $ 73,695,702
2004-2006 stock options exercised: $ 14,402,564
Value of Hilton Head, SC home: $ 3,275,500

RONALD A. WILLIAMS
CEO, AETNA
2007-2008 salary totals: $ 47,300,112
Value of unexercised stock options: $ 194,496,797
In the top 10 of Forbes' $ 100,000,000 Club

MICHAEL McCALISTER
CEO, Humana
2004-2008 salary totals: $ 150,982,708
2006 stock options exercised: $ 22,294,710
Unexercised stock options: $ 60,865,194
Value of Park City, UT home: $ 6,978,380


It isn't just due to lobbyists that health care reform is having such a tough time getting through Congress. Oh no. William H.T. Bush, George W. Bush's uncle, and Susan Bayh, wife of blue dog Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, BOTH sit on the Board of WellPoint (whose profits last year totaled $ 2,491,000,000 - that's $ 2.491 BILLION - last year)!


There you have it, folks. THESE are the primary beneficiaries of our unjust and profit-driven private health "care" system, NOT YOU. There is no excuse for the excesses it contains, or for the fact that it now excludes 1 out of every 6.5 of us. It is rife with exploitation. The next time you encounter someone shouting out against a not-for-profit public option for health care in this country, or who wants to disrupt a Democratic Town Hall discussion on health care, direct them to this blog and this post and my previous one. Ask them, "is your health care better, or cheaper, or covers more for the same money than it did 5 or 10 years ago?" Ask them,"do you like paying multimillion dollar board member salaries every year so their salaries and profits can shoot through the roof while your own premiums, deductibles, and co-payments rise and your own wages stay the same or go down?" THEN have them tell me, as Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona has said, that "health insurance doesn't need any more regulation" and that we do not need any health care reform.

This current corrupt system we have MUST be drastically changed! It is a profit maintenance system, not a health care system! Flood your elected representatives with letters, phone calls, and emails, and let them know you want this unjust and exclusionary practice of excessively profiteering off of people's illnesses to STOP! Do it NOW! Do it TMORROW! Do it NEXT WEEK! And DON'T GIVE UP THE FIGHT!

6 comments:

Marc McDonald said...

I think the "Tea Baggers" as well as the right-wing nutcases who are disrupting town hall meetings are clueless. In fact, their demands are vague and incoherent.

Still, I do give these people credit for one thing: they've gotten off their rear ends and taken action.

If we progressives want action on health care reform, then we need to flood these meetings and we need to counter the wingnuts with shouts of our own, to get our voices heard.

It seems like these days, the wingnuts are the only one who are willing to fight for what they want. We Libs take the polite road and allow these thugs to get what they want via brute force.

They did it in 2000 with the "rent-a-GOP-mob" tactics---and now they're doing it again with their efforts to derail health-care reform.

Jack Jodell said...

Marc, you are right on.

Progressives have been far too dead on this issue, but they've also been foolish. Sure, it's tough to compete against organized and well funded lobbyists and other special interests, but it's not impossible. Those types have been beaten back before.

In both the 1930s and the 1960s, great amounts of beneficial progressive legislation was passed. It succeeded due to moral indignation arising from a fed-up and exploited populace. But it also succeeded because denominational churches all across the country saw it as a moral issue of social justice, which is exactly what health care exclusion for excessive profit has become. Many of the left, by recoiling in horror from some of the Christian churches' stances on social/behavioral issues starting in the 1980s, have disparaged these churches and poured gas on the flame of far right extremists elements like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. By rejecting so many of the Christian churches, progressives and libs have been rejected by them in return. Not all Christian churches or denominations are wingnuts, and it is stupid for us to treat them as though they were. MANY PROGRESSIVE/LIBERAL.CHRISTIAN CHURCHES SHARE THE VERY SAME SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC GOALS. This "coalition" produced my great social-justice legislation in the '60s, and so it can and must be again today regarding health care and fairer wages. We on the left need to stop deriding the churches and put our hands out to them. For, with churches backing universal/public option health care as the moral imperative it is, there is no way we can lose this fight!

Vigilante said...

A real public service fulfilled here! Thanks! I'll link as often as I need to document this!

Jack Jodell said...

Glad I could be of help, Vigilante. If only the general public would become more aware of how they're getting ripped off by these perpetrators of the status quo, there's no way a single-payer system for ALL could fail!

SJ said...

@Marc McDonald-
you're absolutely right. These throngs of panic-driven shouters are a small population in the country, yet they are the loudest voices in the discussion right now.
If Health Care reform dies, it'll be because all the people who determined the last presidential election in November remained silent.

@Jack,
thanks again for these facts and figures. You exercise more comprehensive due diligence than most News networks and it prevents me from "talking out of my ass" when I get into a "discussion" with GOP supporters.

Facts are still the only antidotes for someone else's "truth."

-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

Well said, SJ. Keep hammerin' away at 'em---they're nuts.