Too Much of Our Money Goes into Profit and Bonuses and Not Health Care

Insurance companies are receiving more and more of our health care dollars.

Vermont Blue Cross Blue Shield paid its retiring CEO William Milnes $7.25 million in total compensation in 2008, according to documents filed with state regulators. It’s no consolation that Milnes’ pay was not in the top tier of health care CEO pay. [Source: Times Argus, March 26, 2009].

According to SEC filings, the top seven health insurance executives earned almost $68 million in total compensation in 2008 [Source: Health Reform Watch, Seton Hall Law School].

A national study cited by the AFL-CIO showed that the top seven health insurance executives averaged $14.2 million each in annual total compensation in 2007. [Source: AFL-CIO Blog].

Another report, using data compiled by the American Medical Association, showed that profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007, while consumers paid more for less coverage. [Source: Harper’s Index, September 2009].

The health-care industry’s total annual profit has grown to an estimated $200 billion. [Source: Vanity Fair, September 24, 2009].

With insurance companies raking in such enormous profits, is it any wonder that health insurance is unaffordable for so many Vermonters?