How much should the CEO of WellPoint get?

Angela Braly, the CEO of health insurance giant WellPoint just received a whopping $13.1 million in pay, a 51 percent increase in compensation in 2009. This at the same time “WellPoint’s California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking a double-digit rate increases for many of its 800,000 members who buy individual policies.” A Center for American Progress analysis from February found that “double-digit hikes have been implemented or are pending in at least 11 other states among the 14 where WellPoint’s Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are active.” WellPoint spokesman Jon Mills justified Braly’s compensation by saying that the company “wants to attract and retain top talent.” I'm guessing there are a lot of "top talent" people who would be more than willing to work for over $60,000 a day plus corporate jets and catered meals and all the other perks Braley enjoys. They're just not members of the old-boys-and-girls network that has become the ruling aristocracy of America's CEO class.


rladlof's picture
rladlof 13 years 8 weeks ago

One day in prison for every dollar received. Fraud is fraud . . . whether or not it is white-collar fraud.

captbebops's picture
captbebops 13 years 8 weeks ago

Since I have Anthem Blue Cross I am very angry about this. She is nothing more than a scam artist and crook. Someone once asked on the message board what the rich had done to us, this is a very direct example that does effect me.

edicus's picture
edicus 13 years 8 weeks ago

The notion that for-profit health insurance represents the eternal order of things is specious. At one time, the largest health insurer in Kentucky and several other states was Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Kentucky Blue Cross was established in 1938 as a non-profit hospital services organization and initially funded by $1,500 donations by six non-profit hospitals and a $3,000 loan from the Louisville Community Chest. From that time until 1993, Blue Cross & Blue Shield was an extremely successful enterprise and contributed significantly to the well-being of Kentuckians.

In 1993, the officers of Kentucky Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Anthem of Indiana, a for-profit company, submitted a merger request to the Kentucky Insurance Commissioner, who approved it. This, in effect, converted charitable assets to for-profit assets, thereby shafting millions of Kentuckians who had supported Blue Cross & Blue Shield over the decades and policyholders who by law had an equity interest in the assets of Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

Kentucky’s Attorney General later filed suit to recover the converted charitable assets of Blue Cross & Blue Shield and in 1999, the court created a $45 million dollar charitable trust and directed Anthem to fund it immediately. Forty-five million dollars seems like quite a bit of money until we realize that Wellpoint, which owns Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, paid their CEO a total of S42.8 million in 2006, 2007, and 2008 and has by now spent another $13.1 million on her, which means she got more than Kentucky.

The people who founded the “Blues” did not envision organizations whose sole reason for existence was profit for shareholders. Those “socialists” just wanted hospitals to remain solvent and patients to get care. A system focused solely on those two goals would surely “bend the cost curve.”

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

On the Last Judgment Day God will determine what CEOs should make.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy