Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blogging Season returns

I'm going to suggest that my long absence on the blogging trail is because it's just not a high priority to blog when the weather is great, and when it's better to be outside than inside during the evenings. Which is when I like to blog. So, now that it's almost completely dark by around 5 pm or so, and it's not likely that I'll go out and work on my golf game or run a few miles in the afterlight, I find myself looking for something to do besides watching TV, reading a book, or pouring (as in drinking) another glass of wine. So, I think I might blog some. And so, late fall and winter is now officially claimed as blogging season!

Why Health Insurance is not working

UnitedHealth to Pay Departing CEO $5.1M

The CEO of United Healthcare, my health insurance provider, recently was forced out for backdating of stock options primarily.

But the real story is lost in the headlines. This guy, Bill McGuire, has stock options worth over $1 BILLION.

This for a guy that runs a health insurance company. Plus, he will get $5.1 million PER YEAR for life.

Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage? This is completely berserk. I'm sure he was a good CEO, and is probably even a decent guy..

But, my insurance premiums continue to go up by double digits every year, my doctor tells me every year that he makes less and less money due to the insurance company cut backs, there are tons of people who live without health insurance, and let's not even get into the riders and the people that get turned down for insurance-because they are too risky, and would cost the insurance company too much money!

And this guy walks away with over $1 billion in options plus $5.1 million per year for life?

There is something drastically and dramatically wrong with our health care system when 3rd party insurance companies are making out like bandits, small business owners like me are being taken to the cleaners, doctors have an inverted income curve, and patients are grateful for any coverage at all

There is one small consolation. We have the best health care available in the world for those who can afford it. More and more I'm thinking the government needs to step in and be the catalyst for change.

"McGuire has stock options that were worth $1.78 billion as of the end of 2005. Their current value is not known. Investors have sold off UnitedHealth shares since questions about options backdating arose in March. Then, on Sunday, UnitedHealth said McGuire would re-price his options to the highest point in the year they were granted to remove any possibility that he got a favorable price."

- After being forced to step down over the company's compensation practices, UnitedHealth chief executive William McGuire will retire on $5.1 million a year, according to the calculations of a watchdog group.