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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One Easy Way to Cut Health Care Costs

One Easy Way to Cut Health Care Costs

In an advertisement on television yesterday, Blue Cross said they wanted us to help them save money. Find ways to cut costs. Luckily, over the weekend the local newspaper ran an article about Blue Cross Blue Shield's CEO's pay increase. It turned out that the CEO's salary was increased by 19 percent in the past two years while the company's profit increase was only one percent compared to three percent the previous year. Sounds like a clue on how to save money.

It seems strange (sarcasm) to me that his salary went up just as much as my premium rate increase. Mr. Obama implied that he had health care costs under control. Nineteen percent increase doesn't sound like it's under control to me. Maybe he didn't have Blue Cross. Blue Cross is the state's largest health company insurer and for many years, the only choice for many buying their own insurance. An increase of this much may be only $38 if a person only paid $200 a month where they were employed because the company subsidized the payments. However, if someone purchased his own insurance and was not a member of a group, that 19 percent increase equaled about $100 per month. Not a small amount.

I can't understand the mentality of the company giving a compensation package of over $1.6 million to this CEO and another six higher ups receiving more than $1.08 million when the profit margin was at 1 percent compared to 3.2 percent the previous year. I'm all for free enterprise, but this has gotten to be ridiculous. Why do we pay for a CEO who did not perform as well as his merit increase? No wonder health care costs are rising if we have to pay higher compensations to CEOs and their associates for not performing. Oh, yeah, the old saying that his compensation was comparable to others in his field is a bunch of bull. All the other CEO's used his salary increase to justify theirs. It's circular logic and it's foolish. If the CEO quit, many competent people would be standing in line, willing to take even lower pay, for the same job.

The advertisement on television yesterday said that Blue Cross wanted us to help them save money. The answer is obvious. They could save millions of dollars by cutting the pay of the higher ups, but, of course, the CEO does not want to hear this and he would have to agree to it. A novel I recently read called it SUWE, the Spiral of Unpardonable Waste and Extravagance. It seems appropriate, suwe is how they call pigs, isn't it?

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