Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Health insurers pay execs handsomely by denying our medical claims

America's top-ten for-profit medical insurers pay their executives handsomely. That's one reason they so fiercely oppose a single-payer health care system for the U.S.

Nyceve on Daily Kos did a roundup of executive pay along with some choice comments like this:

"...keep in mind the for-profit health industry exists for only one purpose, to generate profits for shareholders. In order to do so, this industry collects premiums and then it delays and denies medical care--think you're insured, think again. The situation is so bad that doctors are in revolt. They are sick and tired of fighting the insurers for every treatment, every medication and every test."

Nyceve found the top ten insurers' compensation numbers at the Fierce Healthcare site. I located the CEO of my health plan, CIGNA, and was not too shocked to see that he has profited enormously by delaying and denying the claims of me and my fellow state workers in Wyoming. Here are the sordid details:

H. Edward Hanway, CIGNA
Total Compensation: $12,236,740
Details: Hanway took a significant pay cut from 2007 to 2008, due mainly to a drop off of more than $11 million in his non-equity incentive plan compensation. Still, his base salary of $1,142,885 surpasses that of Aetna's Williams, and is supplemented by just over $3.6 million in option awards, and just over $820,000 in non-qualified deferred compensation earnings. Also, nearly $21,800 in "other compensation" included the use of a company car with a driver, in-office meals, and emergency assistance services relating to medical exams.

Get all the details at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/26/735411/-Health-insurance-industry-CEO-salary-survey,-stay-calm-for-this

Question: Why aren't the Democrats in Congress pushing harder for a single-payer plan?

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