The American Health Care Machine and You: A Call to Conscience– $40 million executive bonus and what $40 million could cover

 Health care is a top issue in the presidential race, but unmentioned is the $40. 2 million Golden Parachute for Humana’s CEO if the proposed merger with Aetna is approved. 

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard is primed for a huge payday. If the federal government approves Humana’s $37 billion sale to Aetna, Broussard will receive $40.2 million. The “golden parachute” compensation package includes a $6 million severance payout, while most of the remaining money will come from cashing out stock, according to a regulatory disclosure released Wednesday.”   Modern Healthcare March 9, 2016.

This “Call to Conscience” is for health insurance companies, their shareholders, as well as for employers, individuals and the health care community. Below are five different comparisons to help understand what $40 million headed for the CEO’s pocket could contribute for some critical health needs.  I added Iowa to show the economic tax burden on some states.

Some things $40 million could cover

         34,188 million childhood immunizations through adolescence @$1,170

         533 people/year for private pay/private room 24-hour assisted living or nursing  home @$6,000/mo. * 

         4,444 million normal births @ $9,000

         2,857 C-section births without complications at $14,000 

         2015 Iowa state health care insurance cost increase 

The  US Justice Department is examining this Humana-Aetna merger well as the Cigna -Anthem merger due to anti-trust concerns.  Consumer and health care groups from doctors to hospitals warn these mergers will result in only three to five major insurers remaining and kill choice over price and providers. Unlike banks and transportation there are few national regulations over insurance. Health insurance is regulated at the state level not the federal level except for a few requirements. Opposition has arisen from some of the ACA’s (Obamacare) critics about the new national standards and protections that change past insurance practices. The ACA now requires a  core set of benefits all insurers must offer and the elimination of pre-existing condition restrictions as well as eliminating the lifetime maximum financial limits insurers would pay for family or individual care.

When we discuss health care costs, therefore, we should discuss the entire spectrum of cost.  Costs are not completely caused by patient care.

If you think this is an important issue please write your Senator and Congressional Representatives and share your comments about such mergers.

If you would like to support these or more hard hitting stories, please make a modest donation to support this independent and candid voice.  Thank you! 


* These costs are based on single room/private pay costs. They do not include a semi-private room.  Rates vary by institution, by state and within each state. These are not Medicaid rates.

Neither Medicare Parts A nor B offer coverage for comprehensive ongoing long-term care. Medicare A (hospital insurance) may cover costs for a semiprivate room, meals, nursing and rehab services, medications, and medical supplies in a skilled nursing facility for the first 100 days after being released from hospitalization for an acute illness or injury. The first 20 days are covered at 80 percent, with the rest of that time period covered at decreasing rates. It never covers a private room or services in an assisted living residence. Medicare B only offers reimbursement for covered services you receive from a doctor.


About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Connor: 30+ year health care consumer advocate, non-profit executive and author. For more information about Kathleen, please see “About” on the main content bar above.

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