“Unions stand ready to be part of the solution to the healthcare cost crisis in which we all find ourselves,” the Herald quoted Haynes as saying in January. “The only way to ensure we are part of the solution is to guarantee that we have a voice and meaningful role in how cost savings are achieved.” Harrumph!
We don’t know whether or not Guzzi, or Haynes, or Bentley University President Gloria Larson ($76,400) or any of the other 18 BCBSMA board members – all of who collect between $56,000-$90,000 a year -- voted for the compensation package, because BCBSMA won’t say, and a spokesperson told the Herald that board members would not comment individually. So much for accountability!
Maybe the health plan will be more forthcoming with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who announced last week that her office will investigate the Killingsworth payout.
As infuriating as the sizeable severance package is, this shouldn’t really surprise anybody. It is part of a continuing and troubling trend in healthcare in which many people of positions of power and influence – regardless of their politics -- collect hefty compensation packages while they preach cost containment for the rest of us. Their relatively high compensation buffers them from the anxieties of tens of millions of Americans in lower tax brackets who find paying for healthcare coverage increasingly more difficult every year.
In all likelihood, most people who sit on insurance company boards, or who are involved in other senior healthcare management and oversight positions probably don’t have to skip a medical screening because of their high deductible, or cut their pills in half to make it to the end of the month. When they talk about being “part of the solution to the healthcare cost crisis” they’re actually talking about passing costs on to the rest of us.
And that, my HR friends, is where you come in.