Together, the annual salary + bonuses of the top 50 health insurance executives in America is a whopping $193.5 million. The two richest among them, Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group and Ronald Williams of Aetna have stock options with a market value of $1 billion. The other 48 between them have stock options with a market value of another half a billion dollars.
Before we say these individuals have the morals of alley cats we need to put ourselves in their shoes. If I, for one, pulled in $9.8 million a year as Angela Braly, CEO of Wellpoint does, I would fight like a cornered pitbull to keep it. And if I had $750 million in stock options dependent on my company maintaining its current level of profitability, as Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group does, I frankly probably wouldn’t care whether or not people died every day if that was the cost of keeping my options. I would lie, cheat, steal, run blatantly false and deceptive TV ads, fund “think tanks” that don’t think, and bite people on their necks if that’s what it took.
It isn’t these peoples’ morality… it is simply their humanity. Most of us, in their place, would do the same despicable, indescribably destructive, dishonest, anti-social, borderline homicidal acts that they are doing now to block real healthcare reform for at least another generation.
So we need to understand that the healthcare battle being waged isn’t personal. It isn’t 300 million Americans out to get 50 immoral individuals. It is 300 million Americans who are being maimed, bankrupted, and killed by 50 humans doing pretty much what any humans would do if they found themselves in their exhalted shoes.
Anyway, here are the Health Insurance 50, with their annual compensation (as of last year) and the market value of their stock options according to Reuters. When you’re listening to the ads about socialist medicine and waiting lines… just remember that it is these 50 people funding them and making the decisions to run them… and think what you’d be willing to say if you were in their shoes.
|Company||Executive/Director||FY Total Comp||Market Value of Stock Options|
|Cigna||Hanway, H. Edward||$12,236,700||$30,463,020|
|Health Net||Capezza, Joseph||$1,151,800|
|Health Net||Gellert, Jay||$4,425,360||$62,291,400|
|Health Net||Mayhew, Karin||$1,649,760||$1,510,920|
|Health Net||Tiano, Linda||$1,266,250|
|Health Net||Woys, James||$1,887,560||$14,905,223|
|Universal American||Barasch, Richard||$1,564,290||$12,452,450|
|Universal American||Bryant, Gary||$1,090,860||$7,319,070|
|Universal American||Carpenter, Theodore||$817,343||$262,800|
|Universal American||Jacobs, Gary||$561,187||$948,800|
|Universal American||Waegelein, Robert||$980,185||$5,919,580|
|Universal American||Wardle, John||$497,842|
|UnitedHealth Group||Hemsley, Stephen||$3,241,042||$750,465,894|
|UnitedHealth Group||Mikan, George||$6,531,406||$1,374,150|
|UnitedHealth Group||Munsell, William||$5,267,845||$8,692,222|
|UnitedHealth Group||Welters, Anthony||$5,635,177||$10,676,463|
|UnitedHealth Group||Wichmann, David||$4,638,870||$81,561,764|
|TOTAL||ANNUAL COMP||MARKET VALUE of STOCK OPTIONS|