According to the Boston Globe, the CEO of the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is going to get a retirement package worth $8.6 million after only six years on the job. From the Boston Globe:
Cleve L. Killingsworth, who abruptly resigned last March as chief executive of the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, collected $8.6 million in compensation from the state’s largest health insurer in 2010.
The $8.6 million that Killingsworth, 58, took with him is a combination of the $273,040 salary he received for his 2 1/2 months at the insurer last year; a $922,480 bonus for his work in 2009; and $7.4 million in additional compensation, according to the regulatory filing. That additional money represents the severance and retirement payments that accrued over his six years at Blue Cross, including almost five years as chief executive. Much of the retirement pay had been reported previously.
With around 3 million members this pay package is effectively adding three dollars to the premiums of every individual covered.
Or to put it another way, an average family health insurance policy in Massachusetts cost about $15,000 a year. This means to cover the cost of his severance package, it will take all the premiums paid for 573 families for an entire year. By comparison, the Secretary of HHS, which runs Medicare, has a salary of roughly $200,000 a year.
Of course, this is 8.6 million good reasons why the insurance companies spend so much fighting a public option that would give people the option of a government-run plan that would be roughly 25 percent more cost-effective and wouldn’t waste our premiums on massive CEO pay.
As a country, we don’t have a health care cost problem or a deficit problem. We have a political corruption problem that simply manifests itself in politicians who write laws that allow health care companies to greatly overcharge American consumers and the government.