Mon
Jun 8 2009
09:33 am

A quick Google search for "salary president ceo blue cross tennessee" reveals that the chief executive officer of Blue Cross of Tennessee got a big salary boost to over $2 million this year. Searches for "salary president ceo blue cross [statename]" will get you the figures for the rest of the states. To keep it simple, though, let's just assume that the 50 CEOs of each Blue Cross operation in each of the 50 states makes roughly what the top guy in Tennessee gets, Tennessee not being exactly one of the wealthiest states. That means we're looking at well over $100 million of our health insurance premiums poured into the homes, yachts, and kids' private schools of a tiny elite instead of going into the provision of health care for Americans.

And that's just the money being skimmed off by the guys at the very top of one private insurance company, albeit one of the largest.

This leads me to ask: Why are Obama and other Dems in DC insisting that these vultures sit at the table for health-care reform?

239
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R. Neal's picture

I think you mean $100

I think you mean $100 million, but yeah.

gonzone's picture

Add to That

Adding insult to injury, our Congress has the very best taxpayer funded government operated health insurance that money can buy and then many of them have the nerve to tell us that such is evil and unfit for good Americans to even consider.

I say let's give the people the exact same plan that Congress has!
For too long too many people have gone without health insurance and for too long we've had wealthy health insurance company executives ration our health care and limit our health care choices simply to improve their paychecks.
For too long good hard working people have had to pay too much of their salaries towards rotten health insurance premiums and for too long too many people have been bankrupted by the lack of adequate health insurance and for too long small businesses and large businesses alike have suffered financially while "health care" corporations have profited!

Well, (to quote Network) "We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore!"

"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"

rikki's picture

I would have thought they'd

I would have thought they'd forego raises this year and shovel the money to their lobbyists instead. Nothing like a few million spent on lobbying to make people sick to their stomachs and drum up business...

Brian A.'s picture

Maybe the compensation

Maybe the compensation packages stipulate that the CEO gets a bonus directly proportionate to the premium increases that the company charges.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

ElyssaD's picture

Screw the Blues: CEO Salaries Must Be Regulated

To learn that the CEO of Blue Cross Tennessee received a $2 million bonus is really not news at all. It is merely more of the same, and exactly what we can expect if the Healthcare Industry is expected to "curb" their spending. It just ain't gonna happen.

This is just goes to demonstrate that we MUST have immediate intervention, regulation, oversight and accountability over the Healthcare Marketplace.

I did not need another reason to demonstrate the need for immediate intervention, however for those who do, please read the excerpt below from KnoxViews:

"Blue Cross CEOs gorge on profits from premiums."

"The chief executive officer of Blue Cross of Tennessee got a big salary boost to over $2 million this year. Searches for "salary president ceo blue cross [statename]" will get you the figures for the rest of the states. To keep it simple, though, let's just assume that the 50 CEOs of each Blue Cross operation in each of the 50 states makes roughly what the top guy in Tennessee gets, Tennessee not being exactly one of the wealthiest states. That means we're looking at well over $100 million of our health insurance premiums poured into the homes, yachts, and kids' private schools of a tiny elite instead of going into the provision of health care for Americans." -Vigil Proudfoot, KnoxViews available: (link...)

Obama's plan to come to the table with the Healthcare Industry is being passed off as Healthcare "reform" is a farce. The concept of self-regulation as the newest chapter in healthcare reform effort is a joke, and my concerns continue to grow with each passing day. Since that compromise was made, have any of us seen any movement towards reform or seen our healthcare dollars get more bang for the buck?

Asking or expecting the health industry to reduce costs through self-regulation without accountability is simply ridiculous. Especially when we see reports such as these that show a CEO salary of several million dollars.

Health care is already completely self-regulated and controlled. A person does not have free choice when choosing a provider. Due to an unholy alliance of provider networks, insurance underwriters, pharmaceutical conglomerates and private for profit hospital corporations such as HCA.

By negotiating with providers and developing one-size-fits-all prescription formularies and treatment protocols, we remove the ability for the consumer to make independent informed decisions about the value of various treatment options.

We rely upon one the ratings of physicians who have self-interest in controlling access and information to accurate information through their reliance upon Certification and Licensing Boards. By limiting access into the profession, health care costs are inflated and it is near impossible for the consumer to determine the fair value of a health care service.

Second, the consumer is far removed from the negotiating process, so we do not have a good sense of the fair, free market value of one particular service in comparison to another. All you need to do is look at any EOB (explanation of benefits) report for your last trip to the hospital.

Billing codes are used and assigned through various service departments and the insurance carrier then decides which services are covered and at what rate. They use the terms like “Reasonable and Customary Rates” and then choose to pay 80% of that amount. Therefore, by definition, that 20% must be built in to the billing rates to adjust for the actual (and expected) rate of reimbursement.

Such complicated billing procedures and methods are so complicated and technical that the end recipient of services (the consumer) really has no idea if an X-ray costs $90 or $73. Add into that a separate fee for the radiologist, and sometimes a charge just to use the facility, and even smart people find it difficult to understand.

The bills are then processed by an insurance adjuster who must determine primary and secondary (supplemental) plans and determine who is responsible for what, the end cost and intricate design is truly “priceless.”

Good luck to those people who actually purchased supplemental plans they saw advertised on TV, you have been duped. Giving people (especially the infirm and the elderly) a false sense of security is unfair and unjust.

Without regulation, intervention and enforcement, many people will continue to believe they are prepared and protected from that ultimate for “just in case” scenario that results in major, catastrophic medical loss.

The administrative cost alone on the part of the “Responsible Party” is probably more costly than the initial service they received at whatever hospital for whatever condition.

You cannot apply basic economic theory and free market principles to health care. Health care is fundamentally different and should be considered a public good.

We cannot believe or expect health insurance conglomerates will control their own spending and free from government intervention. We need to do something NOW!

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, TN

"You may not care how much I know, but you don't know how much I care!"

Nobody's picture

Here we go...

Bring on the stupidity after I post all this.

I guess anyone who is successful should be targeted as the cause for anyone else's pain. I guess we should cap Gregg's salary at $150,000...heck, why not $50,000. She should be generously running one of the most successful health companies, right? Gregg could easily go to another plan that wants to pay her more, but she stays at BCBST. That salary is what keeps her there.

While were at it, why don't we cap everyone who is above average and put a floor under everyone who slacks off (minimum wage)? We should ultimately give everything to the government to regulate and just have one national salary that is uniform among all jobs (doctors get paid the same as burger flippers). Let the government have everything else in the form of taxes to do with as they see fit. WHY HASN'T ANYONE ELSE THOUGHT OF THIS GENIOUS PLAN!?!?!?! Oh wait...Stalin did.

You're all morons...get over yourselves and work for something for a change.

gonzone's picture

perhaps

Perhaps you "brought on the sutpidity"?

Are you certain you spelled morons correctly?

"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"

THE SWEDE's picture

okie views on healthcare

these not for profit companies that have 15 to 17 million dollar retirment plans and regulate their own salaries of 2 million a year and up will someday be with bernie madofff they are not worth that kind of money,doctors dent even make over 200,000 a year on average,i know dozens,so until you wake up,just keep paying 1000 dollars a month for a plan that will cancell you for life because of a pre existing war injury,ever have someone educate you,by the way if these outfits are non profit and exempt from taxes,they can open their books to irs like i do and not contribute to crooked lobbyists,politicians,i do think anyone should be able to opt out and pay their doctor cash or trade some chickens,the way jobs are going,thanks 8 years of bush & DICK CHENNY MC ROVE GREAT JOB YOU HAVE DONE,TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE,GETTING BUGGED YET REPUBLICANTS.AND BY THE WAY TASK FORCE FURY CONNOT BE STOPPED THEY ARE THE SUPERPOWER OF USA #1

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