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article imageOp-Ed: Americans opposing health care reform are dupes of industry

By Kathlyn Stone     Aug 15, 2009 in Health
Americans that oppose health care reform on the basis that it introduces socialism do so while perpetuating their serf status.
There’s lots at stake as America battles itself over health care reform. One thing missing in all the framing by opponents is the truth. Another is perspective. It seems people need reminding that profiting off others' illnesses is not the same as profits made from the sales of cars, clothing or luxury items.
Through insurance premiums and *taxes, gullible Americans are paying for the $1.4 million health industry lobbyists spend a day on protecting their rights to huge profits. It certainly isn’t coming out of the insurance executives’ pockets. Execs like Aetna’s Ron Williams had a compensation package last year of over $24 million.
FierceHealthcare, an online news site for health care executives, gathered 2008 data from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission for its reports on the top 10 highest health plan CEO compensation packages.
What fine fellows (and one lady) they are, drawing multi-million dollar salaries and perks while restricting and denying our fellow Americans health care.
1. Ron Williams, Aetna - $24.3 million
2. H. Edward Hanway, CIGNA - $12.3 million
3. Angela Braly, WellPoint - $9.8 million
4. Dale Wolf, Coventry Health Care - $9 million
5. Michael Neidorff, Centene - $8.8 million
6. James Carlson, AMERIGROUP - $4.8 million
7. Michael McCallister, Humana - $4.4 million
8. Jay Gellert, Health Net - $3.5 million
9. Richard Barasch, Universal American - $3.5 million
10. Stephen Hemsley, UnitedHealth Group - $3.2 million
The CEOs enjoy a range of other perks such as private jets, company car with a driver, in-office meals, free legal and financial planning services, life insurance benefits, security services, tax preparation services, housing allowances, and tax reimbursements.
*The 47 million or so people without health insurance go to the emergency departments for care. Unrecoverable costs are paid by state budgets (your taxes).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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