NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Are WellPoint execs greedy?

September 19, 2008
Three activist groups dropped off a wallet and handbag crammed with play money at WellPointâ??s front door this week to protest what the groups say are outrageous salaries pulled down by company executives.

The groups â?? Health Care for America Now, Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan and Central Indiana Jobs With Justice â?? also inducted CEO Angela Braly and her predecessor, Larry Glasscock, into their first â??Hall of Shameâ?? for accepting huge compensation at a time many Americans canâ??t afford health insurance.

Braly knows that if she doesnâ??t thicken WellPointâ??s bottom line and ultimately its stock price, the directors will find someone else who will. Execs also have defended their freedom to receive compensation in line with market norms.

In other words, companies and executives are reacting to market forces. And they might be able to build a case that paying for top talent is helping hold down health care costs.

Is it unfair for executives to make a lot of money at a time when health insurance has become prohibitively expensive for many? Moreover, do you see a link between executive compensation and the cost of health insurance?
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