“We can never be gods, after all--but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.”
I know it's click bait, but the top 100 most influential people in health care, according the Modern Healthcare, is worth a look. It contains the following individuals in its "Top Ten:"
- Kathleen Sebelius (#1) who resigned as the head of Health and Human Services after the botched Healthcare.gov rollout
- Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (#2) who jettisoned the state's $248 million dollar attempt to arrange its own health care exchange website
- President Barack Obama(#3) - of course
- Mr. Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealthcare (#4) who made a cool, $4.57 million in compensation last year and exercised $9.48 million in stock in 2013
- Marilyn Taviner (#5), CMS who gets a little love each year from her prior employer, the Hospital Association of America on top of her salary as CMS Director
- Mark Bertolini (#6), CEO of Aetna, who made $2.66M in compensation and exercised $4.52M in stock in 2013
- Richard Bracken (#7), CEO of HCA, who earned $38.6 million for his role as CEO in 2013 before retiring and pocketed a cool $46.3M in 2012
- newcomer Joseph Swedish (#8), CEO of WellPoint, who earned only $7.48M in 2013
- George Halvorson (#9), of Kaiser Permanente, who doesn't report compensation (a bit of "Sunshine law" needed, perhaps?) but other sources pegged his compensation at $6.7 million back in 2009
- Sister Carol Keehan (#10), of Catholic Health Association who likely made well in excess of $1M in 2011
Yet we wonder why our health care costs are so high.