How many times has the AMA betrayed physicians?  Oh, let me count the ways.  In 1992, they cut a deal with managed care industries and left us hanging to dry.  Then they allowed our identity as physicians to disappear by calling us “providers”; poured salt into our wounds by supporting the notion that primary care physicians be replaced by advanced nurse practitioners, (thus inciting an unnecessary turf war); kept their mouths shut when “retail” clinics emerged like mushrooms manned by people who know very little about medical practice; and now rejected the progressive idea of public health insurance in support of the for-profit insurance companies.  Excuse me while I remove the knife from my weary back.  The lobbyists have struck again. 

Without a public health component or regulatory oversight of private insurance companies, the healthcare industry is headed off the cliff.  Haven’t we learned from the debacle on Wall Street?  Contrary to what we would love to believe, insurance companies do NOT do the right thing when no one is looking.  Just ask whistle-blower, Dr. Linda Peeno, what anguish she encountered after Humana asked her to deny a young patient a heart transplant.  http://www.pnhp.org/news/2002/may/damaged_care_premi.php Or read about the FBI’s investigation of Well Care Insurance because of Medicaid fraud. http://http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124153953103687873.html

Yes, former NY governor Elliot Spitzer might have had a few indiscretions but he DID keep white collar criminals in check.  Do you really think it’s a coincidence that Spitzer was in the midst of an investigation of AIG fraud and then ended up on a media radar screen?  Pulleeze.

So here’s an example of what the average insurance CEO earns while the rest of our healthcare industry is in shambles:

• H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million
• David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million
• Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million
• Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529
• Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771
• Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million
• Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million
• William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits
• Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million
• James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million
• Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million
• Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million
• Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513
• Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
• Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825

 If you think that a private insurance company has YOUR best interest at heart.  Please, think again.

 

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