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Eli Lilly CEO, wife give United Way $1M gift

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Eli Lilly and Co. CEO John Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah, have pledged to give the United Way of Central Indiana a total of $1 million over the next four years as a "challenge to CEOs and other community leaders to step up their giving."

United Way said today in a press release that it hopes the high-profile donation will spur more "leadership" gifts of $25,000 or more, or help recruit other CEOs as new donors.

The Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation will match the Lechleiters' contribution.

The local United Way is trying to catch up with other cities that have seen more success in recruiting top-tier donors, said Angela Dabney, senior vice president of resource development. United Way of Central Indiana plans to use more challenge grants to raise its ranks of wealthy donors.

Last October, WellPoint CEO Angela Braly and her husband, Doug, pledged $300,000 over three years. The money is used as matching grants for donors who want to join United Way's Tocqueville Society, which requires $10,000 a year in donations, or Women United, which requires $2,500.

So far, United Way has raised $160,000 through the Braly matching gift.

The Lechleiters are already deeply involved with United Way. John Lechleiter is on the board of directors. Sarah Lechleiter was one of the founding members of Women United in 2003.

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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