Cigna Executive: Health Care Reform Tax On Insurers Will Mean Higher Prices For Customers

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A Cigna Corp. executive said Thursday that taxes on the health insurance industry related to the Affordable Care Act, or federal health care reform, will be pushed onto customers in the form of higher premiums.

Cigna’s Chief Financial Officer Ralph J. Nicoletti responded to a question about the taxes during a conference call with financial analysts Thursday morning when the Bloomfield-based health insurer reported third-quarter earnings.

“If you look at the tax, just our philosophy on pricing is essentially to price underlying cost trends, which we’ve viewed as part of. So, beginning in 2013 with — for policies that overlap into 2014, we will include and reflect the industry tax in that pricing,” Nicoletti said.

The company declined to elaborate on how much the taxes might affect premiums.

An annual fee on health-insurance providers is expected to bring in $102 billion between 2013 and 2022 as part of the tax revenue to pay for federal health care reform, according to a July analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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89 thoughts on “Cigna Executive: Health Care Reform Tax On Insurers Will Mean Higher Prices For Customers

  1. Mike Robinson

    Millions of new customers, (healthy) young people, will now be buying insurance under ObamaCare. Any word on how this will affect the consumer cost of health insurance?

  2. M S

    …”just our philosophy on pricing…” Pass it on to the customer and who cares if they can afford it? –
    Yeah, you didn’t have to tell us that.

  3. Dr. Aki Bola, Esq.

    Well, you didn’t expect the Obamacare tax increase to not be passed on to the consumer did you? Don’t forget to thank Obama next week at the voting booth.

    1. msavage

      Dr. Aki Bola–please try moving outside of your one-track mentality. This is the psychopathic/sociopathic corporate culture at work here–not just Obamacare. The CEO is CHOOSING to pass the cost onto consumers rather than taking a hit to his obscenely large, selfish, greedy pig of a salary.

      1. TheJerk

        you my friend are the problem with this country. read your post, go have a cup of coffee and think about what you just wrote and get back to me

      2. Rich Grog

        What’s up doc? Obamacare is going to bankrupt America even more. Insurance companies will be fighting for their survival. You have a one track mind. Insurance companies are in the business to MAKE money. Not lose money.

        1. R Lee

          The idea behind Obamacare is that it will be so expensive that the consumer will HAVE to go to the govt.
          The govt will be the insurer eventually and then we will all beg for treatment because there’s only one game in town.
          THAT IS WHAT IS BEHIND UNIVERSAL COVERAGE.
          MAKE IT SO EXPENSIVE THAT ONYL THE GOVT AND THE “RICH” CAN HAVE CHOICES.
          VERY CLEVER AND THE FOOLS THINK THEY ARE GETTING SOMETHING FOR FREE.

        2. mark Nati

          The part everybody forgets is that, when health insurance started it was meant to be not for profit. When that changed in the 1980’s it has been a mess since. But now they get all these young healthy that should lower cost. And why can health EXCS> get 1.78 billion in bonus’s like William McGuir from UHI.

  4. shartflhs

    Too bad Obamacare doesn’t kick in fully until 2012. If it was totally in effect now Obama wouldn’t have chance in hell of being elected. People actually believe they are going to be getting all this free healthcare. There is no free ride on this one folks. My health insurance has gone up 50% shortly after is passed, I fully expect it go up another 50% when fully implemented. And to think I used to complain about the single digit increases before Obama was elected.

    1. Mike Robinson

      Apparently few people have experienced your 50% increase or else President Obama would have trouble getting reelected. I got a rebate check back from my health insurance company because the company did not make payout requirement in ObamaCare. I don’t believe I will be getting free health care. Romney likes to promise the popular elements of ObamaCare with none of the problems.

      1. Rich Grog

        Obama just likes to promise everything, yet never deliver. Noting in life is free. But if you’re working, you’ll be paying for those who don’t. Just look at the medicare cuts. Where do you think that money is going?

  5. Lawrence

    Financial complaints from Cigna, who just announced 200 layoffs in CT, and whose CEO earned $19 million last year??

    It’s never, ever enough for the 1%, is it?

    Meanwhile, health care reform means fewer personal bankruptcies and life-changing medical crises for the average Amercian.

    Vote smart, Vote Obama. Screw the GOP royalty.

    1. Tim

      We’ve seen what the Democrats did to bring on the housing bubble…This is about our freedom…and about the GOP! Are you stupid?

    2. kris

      Just an FYI, the cost of Obamacare is greater than the profits of the top ten insurance companies COMBINED.
      Most people have no idea what is in the bill but will be finding out soon. The government’s math doesn’t add up. It is the same government that ran medicare into the ground leaving less than 50% of docs willing to take it. The devil’s in the details and the details add up to a total mess. The bill does nothing to lower the cost of the actual care. The Obama crowd has everyone looking at CEO salaries. It’s kind of like the phony war on woman, smoke and mirrors. There is a role for the government to play to help those that can’t get insurance, but the overreach of this bill will bring the 70% of Americans that have good coverage a whole new way of life and it won’t be good so if you are one of them, enjoy your coverage now while you still have it. It will take 6 to 7 years before it tanks. Then it will be too late. Remember, this plan collects 10 years worth of payments for 6 years of coverage. Keep drinking the kool aid shallow sheep.

      1. msavage

        Can you back up your claims with some evidence/figures, please? I agree, Obamacare is not what it should be–it was significantly watered down and Big Pharma was allowed to get its diseased tentacles into it. But isn’t it possible that Obamacare needs to be changed AND the corporate culture is bleeding the American public dry? Does it have to be either or? We need universal health care in this country. Obamacare is a pathetic shell of what it should have been. We need to change that. But we also need to stop the raping of this country by despicable CEOs who immediately pass costs onto the consumer rather than taking a hit to their digustingly bloated, greedy, ridiculous salaries.

        1. Rob

          You can’t have your cake and eat it too. We are fortunate to have a good social safety net in this country but our EXISTING entitlement programs were already in trouble before Obamacare and when anyone suggests a social security or medicare fix they are attacked as anti-poor and anti-senior citizens. Haveing NO solution to the problem is not a solution.

          This is a free market economy. You can’t limit the ability of a company to make money and also expect the economy to grow and create jobs. Meaningful tax reform COULD incent better behavior but I don’t think either side has the political will to do the job right.

          Bottom line, elections are always the choice between the lesser of two evils. The only hope for better employment numbers and improved federal revenues to help the economy grow is vote Republican. Its not 4 more years that are needed. Obama polices will NOT create meaningful economic growth and that is our NUMBER ONE ISSUE

  6. NoOnePartyRule

    Time to start calling the the “Un-Affordable Care Act” because that’s precisely what it is.

    1. msavage

      And I suppose it’s all Obama’s fault, eh? Has nothing to do with a selfish, greedy, never-satisfied-no-matter-how-much-money-he-stuffs-into-his-bank-account CEO? Or the sociopathic corporate culture that supports him and others of his disgusting ilk?

      1. Tim

        Yes, it’s all Obama’s fault! He pushed this thing through with bribery, etc. Say goodbye to your private doctor and get ready for more taxes!

        1. Deb

          Tim, If you only had a clue! I agree that Obamacare is not perfect, but its a start for the millions who do NOT have any health insurance. I love the way everyone is forgetting that Romney pushed the same exact type of plan down the throats of Mass. citizens, but all of a sudden its bad! What is bad is the fact that this liar is allowed to even run for President! If he gets elected, it will be a very sad day, and everyone who voted for him will get what they deserve!

          1. Steve

            Check your facts. It is not the same Health care program that Obama wants. It is a Health care program for everyone but is one that fits the needs of Mass. Romney wants health care for everyone but health care cost are much different in each state. He wants the Individual states to be able to work up a plan that fits each state. What part of all that don’t you understand.

          2. Rich Grog

            Romney’s plan was also funded by state as well as federal money. Obamacare will be only from federal money. And where does the “Fed” get its money? From working class taxpayers. There isn’t enough of us to go around. Look at how much Canadians and Brits are paying in extra taxes to fund “free” government health care.

          3. Dr. Obvious

            What’s amazing to me is that some people don’t see how much this will destroy the ones that work and get health care through their employers. We will be paying more than others that get ObamaCare for free or discounted. I’m glad I am now involuntarily donating my money away.

      2. kris

        While your complaint about the CEO’s salary may be valid, it has little to do with a bill that is the most expensive in American history. A bill that our government won’t even come close to being able to pay.

        1. msavage

          They are not unrelated, Kris. CEO’s like Cigna’s influenced the writing of the “Obamacare” bill via lobbyists so that instead of a single-payer system, we ended up with legislation that will benefit–surprise!–the insurance companies! Then, when there are costs associated with the bill, this bloated sociopath’s first move is to announce that he will have no choice but to pass those costs onto the consumers. American corporatism is diseased.

  7. Robinhood

    Obama care or no care these insurance companies are going to gouge the consumer. We need health care in this country, but maybe we should tell these insurance companies to play fair or take a hike. CEO’s in this country SUCK.

    1. Dr. Meyer

      Robinhood – Healthcare is expensive – get used to it. I busted my ass for several years to get an education, no special breaks for financial aid and huge loans to pay off. If the government cuts medicare reimbursement by 32%, as planned on January 1, 2013, what hwalth care provider in their right mind would se these patients? The reimbursement wouldn’t even cover costs! Let’s face it, would you continue to work as hard as you do if your pay was cut by 32%?

    2. Rich Grog

      Do you know the story behind Robin Hood? He stole from the rich and gave to the poor. In the story, the rich was the government, NOT working class citizens.

  8. kv

    After receiving tax incentives in the millions of dollars from CT as part of the “First Five” program, they are now laying off 200 workers in CT instead of creating new jobs which was the intent behind the tax break, Then their profits more than doubled. But consumer premiums will increase due to taxes assessed by Obamacare. The only real beneficiaries of Obamacare are the major health insurers.

  9. Lawrence

    Here’s the company (Alberto-Culver)that Ralph was VP and CFO at just before he came to Cigna; these corporate bigwigs really know how to SCREW the middle class, don’t they?? The problem is, they don’t know how to CARE for the middle class.

    “Consumer products maker Unilever PLC is planning to close the Alberto-Culver plant outside Chicago.

    Unilever spokeswoman said the entire office staff at the plant in Melrose Park — about 600 employees — will be cut or transferred.

    Some families will be especially hit hard.

    Between the two of them, Kevin and Irma Cox have 71 years of service at the Melrose Park plant.

    “I met my wife here, and she’s been here for 30 years,” said Kevin Cox. “That’s two incomes that’s going to be completely gone.”

    Of the 600 employees working at the facility, about 200 are union. A representative said they were told of the pending closures earlier this summer. Still, they weren’t prepared.

    “A lot of the employees up until today still are in denial. They don’t believe it’s going to happen. Their whole career has been here,” said Steven Kramer with United Steelworkers Local 9777.

    The company, which makes Nexxus shampoos and conditioners, as well as St. Ives lotions and body wash, said in a statement the closure was about efficiencies….”

    Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/inc-well/univlever-alberto-culver-closing-134946678.html#ixzz2BAvGiuMl

  10. BWolfson

    I worked for Aetna 398 years and it still amazes me that the health company CEOs, make bad decisions, reap millions in compensation and retirement yet continue to lay of employees and claim that the ACA will cost consumers more. The insurance companies should be getting a large pool of young people to keep cost down. The stockholders have to get their return on investment, the CEOs have to line their pockets with obscene compensation, yet the uninformed want to blame Obama for seeing that people assume responsibility for their own health care. All Western Democracies have universal health care for their citizens but for some reason, some people in our country find this strange. So what if 46 million people don’t have insurance. I wonder what people would think if this same number chose not to have automobile insurance. Now that would get people’s attension!

  11. msavage

    And this CEO is making $19 million per year, according to Lawrence above. Couldn’t possibly cut into his paycheck, could he? The cost has gotta be passed onto the consumer. Instead of denigrating “Obamacare,” why can’t some of you see that it’s the CORPORATE MENTALITY that is the problem here. The CEO is making probably 400 times what the average employee of Cigna is making, yet the cost must be passed onto the CONSUMER! Or, let’s be more generous to the average employee. Let’s say that the average Cigna employee makes $100,000 per year (yeah, right!). Then the CEO is making, what, nearly 200 TIMES that amount. Why is this OK with some of you?! Why is it OK for the CEO to be making between 200 and 400 TIMES what the average employee is making, yet automatically passes any additional costs down to the consumer? THIS IS NOT OK!!! Stop acting as though it is and maybe we’ll see some change in this country!

    1. James

      It’s ok because CEOs run companies. They are not figureheads, they are the best of the best. They are the leaders that stand above all others, which is why they are now running companies. I am not a CEO but have no problem paying executives what they deserve.

      1. msavage

        You’re joking about this, right? Trying to be ironic and I’m just not reading the irony? You cannot possibly be serious.

        1. kris

          I agree James, I am not a CEO, but I know many and very, very few people have the skill set to run a multi billion dollar company. The several I know work day and night and there are very few days off. It’s the same reason that Big Poppi gets the big bucks. But even if I disagreed with James, the amount a CEO earns is a fraction of the revenue and cutting CEO salaries would do next to nothing about overall costs. It is just one of the many issues that Obama has used to divide Americans and keep the attention off of the worst record of any president since Woodrow Wilson nearly 100 years ago. The whole subject is to get those that vote with their emotions rather than their brain.

      2. Deb

        James, do you really believe what you just wrote? What about all the CEO’s that drove their companies into bankruptcy,and on the way out the door picked up millions of dollars in bonuses! No one deserves 19 million dollars a year salary! It is just greed and greed is what got us into this mess to begin with!!

        1. Rob

          That is an issue for shareholders and boards of directors. It still has no bearing on the discussion of whether or not Obamacare is good policy. CEO salaries are going to be controversial regardless. Its a distraction from the real issues as others have stated.

    2. kris

      Do the math. If you actually look at the numbers of the company, less than one half of one percent makes it to the consumer. I don’t care about CEO’s one way or the other, I just can’t believe how American’s have lost their ability to reason. The math simply doesn’t support your point of view, not with the CEO issue or Obamacare. People like you want to believe something so badly that the math facts just get in the way.

    3. Rich Grog

      Why can’t you see it’s a failed program that its the problem here? Why can’t you that its government expansion that is the problem here? Why can’t you see its Obama’s failed policies that is the problem here?

  12. America Is Dying

    This is America for you, A baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations says the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a $26 million, two-year contract with designated hitter David Ortiz.
    $26 million dollars to play a childs game and no one complains about that? Endless amounts of money for wars!
    What a country!

    1. Dr. Meyer

      So what do you suggest? Maybe the government should get involved and start regulating professional athletes salaries to help ‘contain costs’ of professional sports. I don’t how this is any different than the government stepping in and telling me what i can charge to provide health care to a medicare patients (EVEN if it doesn’t cover my costs).
      I don’t know what you all do for a living but just think about how you would react if the government controlled your pay and said you will provide your services to your customers for half of what it costs you to do it. You just eat the rest. AND if you don’t do it the way the government tells you to do it, you don’t get ANYTHING. Oh yeah, the customer can sue you too, so you better cary some good insurance.
      No wonder providers are turning away medicare and medicaid patients in droves.

    2. Rich Grog

      $26 million to play a game, while the military, who are dodging bullets and IEDs are paid nothing in comparison.

    3. Bill

      You may be onto something – take all income above $1M from CEO, athletes, actors, investors etc and put it towards helth care – problem solved

  13. EastCoastFarmer

    the tax will probably not effect CFO Nicoletti’s lovely compensation package (he came from Unilever in 2011)- June 2, 2011 at 10:55 am by Sonya Hubbard
    Shaking the money tree at CIGNA…

    CIGNA logoThere’s an old cliché that money doesn’t grow on trees, but – based on an 8-K that we read May 31 – we wonder if the tree that inspired CIGNA Corporation’s (CI) logo might be an exception. In the past few months, after all, CIGNA’s executive compensation decisions have inspired posts such as this one and this one.

    CIGNA filed the regulatory document Tuesday to announce the appointment of Ralph J. Nicoletti, 53, as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a post that he will start on June 20. The transition follows Nicoletti’s departure from Alberto Culver (recently acquired by Unilever N.V. (UN)), where he was the executive vice president and CFO.

    While at Alberto Culver, Nicoletti got a base salary of $490,000, together with other forms of compensation that added up to a total compensation package worth a bit more than $1.901 million, according to that company’s January, 2011 proxy. But since Nicoletti’s departure follows Alberto Culver’s sale to Unilever, the transaction also gave him the right to collect a change in control payment. Although we won’t know the exact sum that Nicoletti got for a while yet, the above-referenced proxy and the DEFM 14A (merger proxy) filed in November, 2010 suggest that the change in control payment and equity interests could top $5 million.

    The move to CIGNA will give Nicoletti a nice raise: He will start with a base salary of $550,000, but that’s just the beginning of the fiscal fruits falling into his basket from the CIGNA money tree.

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    He’s also eligible for a Management Incentive Plan bonus that comes with a target of another $550,000, although – depending on the company’s performance and his own – he might get nothing, or he could get as much as $1.1 million. According to the Offer Letter filed with the 8-K, whatever amount is ultimately awarded, Nicoletti will get a pro-rated share that’s based on the amount of time he worked in 2011.

    In addition to that, Nicoletti may earn as much as $1.9 million in long-term incentives. The company promised him that during the annual grant process, he will be considered for stock options worth $950,000 and Strategic Performance Share awards worth another $950,000.

    To further sweeten the pot, CIGNA offered Nicoletti a $50,000 sign-on cash bonus (which he will get within 30 days of starting the new job), as well as long-term incentive awards with an estimated present value worth more than $2.122 million. Dubbed a “Sign-On Long-Term Incentive,” this includes a combination of 2,372 Strategic Performance Units, to be paid in 2012 and with an estimated value of $177,900; Strategic Performance Shares that will be awarded in 2013 and 2014, with a combined estimated present-day value of $1,444,445; a restricted stock grant with a grant-date value of $250,000; and stock options with a grant date value of $250,000.

  14. John Steel

    Time for true universal health care. At least 40 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs and insurance company profits. That is why the US has the most expensive health care in the world, but ranks 37th in quality of care. Obamacare is a travesty, an utter sell-out by the Democrats. It was largely written by the insurance industry and Big Pharma.

    1. Dr. Meyer

      Sure ‘Universal Health Care’ administered by the government – the great example that all modern business schools use to exemplify cost containment and efficient allocation of resources. ‘Universal Health Care’- All the efficiency of the Post Office, all the empathy of the IRS. “Ranks 37th in quality of care” depends on how you measure quality. Look at the UK’s system – the majority of doctors trained in the UK … work IN FLORIDA!

  15. James

    CEOs run companies. They are not figureheads, they are the best of the best. They are the leaders that stand above all others, which is why they are now running companies. I am not a CEO but have no problem paying executives what they deserve. This goes not only for CEOs but for all other C level execs, VPs, and all levels of workers. If you don’t pay people what they are worth, you don’t get quality employees. I worked for a company that didn’t pay well and we didn’t have the best employees. As a manager I couldn’t attract the good candidates because we couldn’t compete on salary. The market drives compensation, and I feel that every company should pay at least the market rate for all employees.

    1. msavage

      Good little corporate mouthpiece, James. That is a load of crap. Stop repeating it and maybe the sheeple will stop believing it.

      1. Dr. Meyer

        James is right. In all of recorded history, the free market system results in the most equitable distribution of resources and highest standard of living for it’s participants. I wonder how health care is in Russia or China… are the providers as well trained? When’s the last time you heard of a major medical breakthrough in those countries, or people flocking to those countries for superior health care? msavage, if you don’t work in the health care industry, or have ever run a multi-million/billion dollar company, I really don’t think you’re qualified to comment on how much anyone makes. In fact, I think you should give more of your obscenely large, selfish, greedy pig of a salary to those who earn less than YOU, instead of worrying about people who make more money than you do.

        1. msavage

          No, James is NOT right. And neither are you. And just because I don’t run a multi billion dollar company, doesn’t mean that I cannot see that $19 million per year is excessive for ANY job. You think because you’re a healthcare provider that you’re qualified to comment regarding a CEOs salary and I’m not? Now there’s arrogance for you! Take a look at this “free market system,” which is a fallacy, by the way. But let’s just go along with your delusion that this is a true free market system. Look at the state that we are currently in and tell me that this system is working well for the majority of American citizens.

          1. Rob

            So you’re qualified to formulate an opinion and James is not? We are a FREE MARKET ECONOMY. Revenue to pay the governments expenses comes from the PRIVATE Sector and from individual taxpayers. Government spending does not directly generate revenue as evidenced by our deficit spending.

        2. Norm.

          Give me a break,back in the 50’s and 60’s,ceo salaries compared to the average worker were much lower,and we were still the world’s leader in inovation in all fields.The social contract has been broken by greed and uncaring politicians,and I believe it will eventually lead to some very unpleasant results for this country.

  16. Kevin

    The ObamaCare plans that people can buy are going to be $600 to $1000 a month for adults in Connecticut.

    Are you satisfied with that or did you think they were going to be free?

    1. Deb

      Kevin, you are just shooting your mouth off with no facts to back it up. I would love to know where you got this information!

      1. Rich Grog

        Have you read the Affordable Health Care Act? It is amazing what is in there. The democrats really stuck it to the American people with this piece of trash.

  17. Gman

    So if you feel Obamacare is a problem, what was your solution to the millions of working Americans who are not offered healthcare by their empoloyers? The Emergency Room – Do you think your premiums have that factored in? What do you do about all the uninsured? Don’t call them lazy because they are working. Seems like anyone who has healthcare provided by their empolyer doesn’t care for those that don’t – pretty selfish minded people. How about we have a new system where no employer provides healthcare for their employees and we all go to the free market and pay are premiums ourselves – let’s relieve our employers from providing healthcare and let us all hang out to dry.

    1. Tim

      How about getting motivated to get help themselves up by “their bootstraps” like the millions of immigrants who came to this country did with very little in their pocket and very little education? I have enough to pay for…so does that make me selfish that I don’t want to pay for everyone else’s healthcare like I do for their education?

      1. Dr. Meyer

        Everyone thinks it’s the ‘1%’ that is stealing from the middle class. Actually it’s the entitlement crowd that is pulling the middle class down. The middle class needs a tax cut that should come from reduced spending, not increased taxes. LBJ’s ‘war on poverty’ is over 40 years old – poverty has gotten worse, not better. Welfare benefits are not ‘entitlements’ they are resources EXTORTED through the tax code by those who create value and GIVEN to those who only consume (and believe they are ‘entitled’ to it).

      2. Deb

        Tim, are you really this blind, you are paying for their healthcare now. What about the single mother who losses her job and one month later gets breast cancer. You want her to pull herself up by “her bootstraps” and deal with it herself. TRUE REPUBLICAN, I GOT MINE, F… EVERYONE ELSE.

    2. Dr. Meyer

      Gman – look at the history of health care tied to employment – it was a way for employers to ‘increase’ wages without increasing an employees tax burden. Think about what you’re proposing, separating health benefits from employment will just result in higher wages (if they want to continue to attract the same quality of employees) for those who used to have combined health care benefits so that they can pay premiums out of pocket (and now after taxes) [in a way this is what Senator McCain suggested in 2008]. This would still leave those without current health benefits earning a wage that would not help them pay for out of pocket health care premiums. I think you need to think more dynamically – the solution you propose assumes that all other factors will remain constant (very simplistic thinking). I am amazed at the economic illiteracy in this country. I think Econ 101 should be required in high school, or at least for people who shoot their mouths off about economic policy. (By the way, if a company wants to offer health care insurance as part of their compensation package for prospective employees, it’s none of the governments business as to wether or not they should be allowed to do so.)

  18. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    The comments are funny to read. Talk to the families of CEO’s and ask how much time they have together. When that CEO is putting in twice the hours each week than a regular employee. I spent the last year in an entry level management position after many dedicated years and I went from putting in 40 hours to 60 hours. The new level of work required more of my time. I know the CEO was in work at 5am every day.

    Also, most of these companies have to balance not just customers but stockholders who expect growth too. It is way more work than of you can fathom.

    I also don’t see anyone writing about the stupidly high salaries of their favorite sports figures, who literally PLAY A GAME for half a year. What about the Hollywood stars? You know who puts that money in their pockets? We do! By watching their shows and movies and buying the products they endorse. You think The Kardashians give a crap about what the little people have to go through everyday? No they don’t. I rather the CEO of the company that gives my family financial security makes millions than Derek Jeter or Kim Kardashian!

    1. Norm.

      I stopped watching sports many years ago when salaries got out of hand,and fans became suckers .I do not watch any of the reality programs or any sitcoms that pass for entertainment these days,they are all garbage.But,we all need afforable health care,and a systen that allows a very few individuals at the very top to suck so much money out of the system is,in my oppinion,unjust,and I believe it is unsustainable.

  19. Truth comes Out

    National health insurance was to help drive down cost of healthcare with the forced influx of younger, healthy people with no claims. The industry should have been forced to eat the tax when they are getting so much money from those who will have to carry insurance, but in the end, will be highly unlikely to use it. This just goes to show you how the big money insurance companies and special interest write our laws and steal our money while the politicians run around and pretend they’ve done us a real favor.

  20. Norm.

    Millions of middle class voters,who are upset with obamacare will vote for Romney,thinking,”yea,that will show them,out with the bums”. So if they get their wish and Romney is elected,this is what they can expect. It’s a certainty that many of them will contact a deadly very expensive illness,and their insurance will cease to cover them and they will lose their homes,and any sense of security they had,while Romney and the insurance ceo’s will be laughing all the way to the bank.Over 330 billion dollars is wasted on ceo payouts every year,it’s time for universal,one payer system.

  21. shartflhs

    Msavage you are obviously delusional. I too am appalled at the massive salaries of executive but trying to say that has anything to do with the cost of our healthcare is really stretching it. We need massive changes in this country but Obamacare is not it. People keep claiming what they think they know about healthcare in other countries but they are completely wrong. I regularly work with people from many countries and we almost always end up comparing our taxes and healthcare. Yes they have universal healthcare, they also pay well over 50% of their salary in taxes, they also wait 3 years to get things like a hip replacement. Every time they come here they load up on items, mainly clothing because it costs 3-4 times as much back home. The grass always looks greener on the other side. The savings quoted by Obama on medicare were not savings they were cuts. Ask anyone on medicare, my fiance is on medicare and is having a hard time finding a primary care doctor as they will not take medicare anymore. My mother had a stroke and they keep denying coverage which was completely covered prior to their raping medicare. My doctor last week told me that since obamacare passed his patients premiums have skyrocketed as have mine. Talking with my company’s benefits administrator I learned why they have been cutting back on our medical benefits. She said since Obamacare passed they found it will be cheaper to not provide healthcare or at least dramatically reduce it. Yes this is the change we really wanted, give me a break.

    1. msavage

      shart–Show me a quote where I said, in any of my comments, that massive executive salaries have “anything to do with the cost of our healthcare,” first of all. I never said that. I DID say that it is immoral and despicable for someone making $19 million per year to say that he is going to automatically pass down an increase in costs while his bloated salary remains intact. There is a difference. Please don’t put words into my mouth.

  22. Jimbo

    It’s the dregs sucking the system dry and complaining it doesn’t “pay” them enough, that WE’RE all paying for, that’s the problem. Shut up and get a job, and start contributing to this great country, or get out.

  23. Grapefruit

    And now, if you are lookiing for a job, the right answer to the question “Do you need insurance?” is “No”…not if you want a job.

  24. Marc Romanow

    This is how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect my family: We purchase our own health insurance. My daughter and I are currently on one plan (Aetna); my son obtains insurance through the college he attends. My wife has been on Cobra for almost a year (also Aetna) because she can’t get on my plan due to a pre-existing condition. If you add up the cost of our collective premiums, we are actually paying less than we did 2 and 3 years ago with similar deductibles and co-pays. The AHCA will allow my wife to switch from Cobra (hopefully before it runs out) to my plan. If AHCA is repealed, she won’t be able to get insurance because of her pre-existing condition. The cost of doctor visits, prescriptions and lab tests just for this condition will exceed $20,000 a year. The AHCA will allow my son to join our plan when he graduates from college and remain on it until he turns 26. This is much more cost effective than if he buys insurance on his own or his employer doesn’t offer it to him. In summary, before you make the AHCA a political football, you should look at how it impacts your family and those folks you know who buy their own insurance or have significant medical expenses.

  25. Colonel Kurtz

    Forced influx of younger people is wrong on so many levels:

    1. Govenment literally forcing you to engage in commerce;
    2. These young people will choose to pay the penalty which will be a fraction of the annual premium until that time when the need arises which will invariably put the solvency of the plan in jeopardy; and
    3. Depenendent until age 26? I want a new XBox for Christmas…

  26. Ron

    That is why we need a gov’t option. More competition equals lower prices. The medical field needs to publish their prices. As long as people use health without checking prices, cost will continue to climb.

  27. Colonel Kurtz

    Ron,

    The goverment option will not be subject to the same coverage mandates and requirements as the insurers, including this tax, thus creating an uneven playing field so there is not true competition. Also, the government has unlimited funding so if costs outrun premium they simply need to look to you for more taxes (Note: It’s taxes, not revenue. I can choose to spend my $$ at a store and increase its revenue, but I can’t choose not to pay taxes (and therein lies the distinction.))

  28. Betsey S. Chadwick

    Five self-serving sentences from an insurance executive constitutes a “news article?!” Disgusting! This piece (and countless other similar ones) was placed by the insurance industry JUST so that uneducated, uninformed, easily swayed, “conservative” idiots (who vote against their own interests at every turn) could vent their spleen against the president. “Obamacare” my foot. Affordable health care that CUTS OUT the insurance industry (thus the billions of dollars they make off the rest of us) is the only way to go.

    1. msavage

      Interesting theory, Betsey Chadwick. I totally agree with you re “who vote against their own interests at every turn.” But I had assumed that this article was placed in order to drum up anger against the CEO, not the president. Your theory is an interesting alternative. Made me think. Thanks for that.

      By the way, agree with you on this as well: “Affordable health care that CUTS OUT the insurance industry (thus the billions of dollars they make off the rest of us) is the only way to go.”

      1. Rob

        Along with the revenue those private companies generate. So it just decreases the revenue collected by the government, replaces good private sector jobs with more government jobs, and drives us closer to the brink of collapse.

  29. Dr. Obvious

    Anyone who didn’t think ObamaCare would effect the middle class tax payer is crazy. Obama slaps a tax on insurance company and thinks it stops there. Of course, those costs will be distributed to the consumer…why wouldn’t they be. That’s like going to the store and expecting to pay the wholesale cost and not retai price. Insurance companies aren’t going to “take the hit”, why would they. Just thank Obama on Tuesday with your vote and then let’s move on.

    1. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

      That was the exact thinking with Frank-Dodd act. People assumed if fees were cut to the credit card companies, that people would start seeing retailers cut prices…of course they didn’t AND the banks ended up finding all sorts of other fees to charge customers to make up for the lost revenue too. It is painfully obvious that many of the people that are voted in (both sides) have absolutely no idea how a business is run…and neglect to realize that businesses are not NON-PROFIT organizations! They are there specifically to make money. For themselves and quite often stockholders(including the mutual funds that many “average” people use as investments in Their 401k plans!). The CEO’s went through years of education and worked their way up the ladder in order to make money!

      If that same CEO was making just 19,000 per year, would you expect them to take a pay cut to pay for taxes that the government is instituting through no choice of theirs? Do you like when the government causes your family to have a pay cut to pay for things that yo don’t want? Of course not!

  30. Norm.

    People need to check the history of healthcare in this country.Back in the 50’s ,60, health insurance provided by an employer was covered by blue cross and blue shield.I am not sure if it was goverment run or not,but this is a fact,the cost was a very small percentage of the take home pay,so small that for the most part,it hardly made a dent in the average family’s budget.Where it all went wrong,I don’t really know,I suppose it just a small part of the general decline of the middle class that has been going on since the early 70’s,and the scary part is that,no matter what party is in power,the decline is real and continues.

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