Thank you, Karen for the great links. I'm not sure if this is an appropriate thread to post this under, but this was an artilce in my local paper on 11-30-01. The journalist writes a daily column. Keep in mind, he writes in satire. He's written some very pro-nurse/anti-establishment articles in the past.
Rich Tosches: Health-care costs rising, all right -- along with salaries
About a month ago, I wrote a column about the salaries of the people who are in charge of our health care, including the head of our city-owned hospital, who makes $310,000 a year and is in line for yet another raise in a few weeks.
(Memorial Hospital nurses will get a nice bonus, too: free tours of the huge home on Star Ranch Road that their boss purchased this year for $578,000.)
The column pointed out that one HMO chief -- former Memorial Hospital doctor Bill McGuire, now the CEO of the Chicago-area United Health Group -- was given a compensation package last year potentially worth $357 million, depending on the company's stock price.And certainly no one would suggest a guy in that position (if the stock performed well, McGuire would have earned the equivalent of $972,082 each day) would raise premium costs and slash patient care -- even though it would certainly boost the stock price and allow him to purchase, let's say, a new golf club.
Such as Pebble Beach.
All of which prompted reader Timothy Gentry of Ellicott to send a letter to the editor referring to me as "Comrade Tosches" and likening me to the founder of communism, Karl Marx. (It wasn't the first time I've been compared to Marx, although generally it's Harpo.)
"How dare these robber barons think their hard work, risk and initiative entitle them to any more than the proletariat which they exploit!" he wrote.
My response? Well, I actually enjoyed the letter, which showcased a writing style known as satire.
However, Timothy, hang on to your goat, because here we go again:
On Jan. 1, rate increases for companies in Colorado Springs will range from 15 to a staggering 60 percent -- meaning another big chunk out of your paycheck, or reduced benefits. Or both.Example, from a recent Gazette story: "About 62,000 senior citizen Secure Horizons members across the state will face increases and benefit changes next year, PacifiCare of Colorado announced."In Pueblo, for example, Secure Horizons customers -- elderly people living on fixed incomes -- will pay $40 for an office visit, up from this year's $15.PacifiCare also said it would stop offering any coverage at all in 15 rural counties in Colorado, leaving tens of thousands of people struggling to find coverage.This was done, PacifiCare said, because of "mounting financial losses."Note: Last year, ol' "mounting financial losses" PacifiCare gave six of its executives a total of $5.6 million in salary -- and a potential $28 million in stock options.Here is PacifiCare spokeswoman Amy Hudson to explain it to us: "The simple answer," she said, "the reason premiums are increasing, is that our health-care costs are increasing."They certainly are.In addition to the six PacifiCare executives whose salaries and stock options were listed above, new PacifiCare president and CEO Howard Phansteil got a compensation package last year that could have reached $11 million.All he had to do, as Timothy Gentry pointed out, was demonstrate "hard work, risk and initiative."
Such as gouging old people who live on fixed incomes.