Archive for May 30th, 2015

by William Skink

This country makes me sick. The rapacious greed and corruption will destroy us, eventually. And the next crash is just around the corner.

While health insurance executives get six figure bonuses for the disaster that STILL is our health care system, my take home pay went down because my employer-provided health care plan keeps going up and up and up, a trajectory that shows no signs of abating. From the link:

Health insurance companies that sold policies on the Montana Internet “marketplace” reported some substantial losses in 2014 – but that didn’t stop their executives from collecting some big bonuses.

Patricia Hemingway Hall, the head of Health Care Service Corp., which is the Illinois-based parent firm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, received a $10.4 million bonus for 2014, on top of her $1.25 million salary, for total compensation of $11.7 million.

The company increased its 2014 revenue from $22.7 billion to $27.7 billion, but had a net loss of $281 million – about $1 billion lower than its 2013 net revenue of $684 million.

In Montana, Blue Cross President Mike Frank’s total compensation for 2014 was $849,000, including a $355,000 bonus and salary of $488,000.

Montana Blue Cross spokesman John Doran said Frank’s total compensation package in 2014 was slightly lower than Frank’s $870,000 compensation for the previous year.

If you want to hear the hilarious reason for this obscenity, check out the rationale:

“Compensation is a way to attract and retain experienced professionals who will serve our members’ long-term interests at a time when the health-care system is undergoing historic changes,” he said. “We need the best and the brightest at all levels of our business to ensure insurance works for everyone over the long term.”

I can just imagine this statement being made, then the fucker who made it laughing maniacally. Long term interests of your members? Insurance that works for everyone? Yeah right, you worthless parasites. Fuck off.

It’s also maddening to think a Lee Newspaper is reporting this when their corporate leeches siphon bonuses for themselves while destroying their capacity to report news.

The other article about the insurance industry woes, written by Mike Dennison, is one of the last articles to come from the shuttered state bureau. It tells the tale of these pieces of shit going hat in hand to Monica Lindeen asking to fuck its rate payers just a little bit more next year:

Blue Cross’ parent company, Health Care Service Corp., reported losses of $282 million for 2014 – almost $1 billion less than its $684 million net gain for the previous year.

Blue Cross, the co-op and two other companies are now filing rates for next year’s policies in Montana. Those rates haven’t been made final or reviewed yet by Montana’s insurance regulator, state Auditor Monica Lindeen, but insurance officials said they’ve asked for increases.

Lindeen said Friday her office has just begun reviewing the 2016 rates. She’ll likely object to parts of the increases, and it’s possible insurers are overestimating some expected costs or other factors, she said.

“There are a lot of different issues on why these rate increases may be so high,” Lindeen said. “We’re hoping through our process we can decrease the increases.”

I have a wild idea? No increase unless every goddamn bonus is returned. Now. Or fuck you. Please, Monica, relate my subtle message to these assholes.

Speaking of greed-driven insanity, since there were no real consequences for the Wall Street fuckers who blew up the economy, housing is once again a re-inflated bubble waiting to burst. From Zerohedge:

And now we come to present day and something really smells fishy again. Home prices crashed by 40% between 2005 and 2012, putting prices back to 1978 on an inflation adjusted basis. All of the bubble gains were wiped out in the blink of an eye. Bernanke and his Wall Street owners had a real problem with this development. Wall Street banks had/have billions in toxic mortgages on their books and only accounting fraud by not having to mark them to market has kept these banks from having to declare bankruptcy. Bernanke, Geithner, and the Wall Street banks hatched their master plan to save themselves at the expense of young people in 2011/2012.

We know for a fact that real median household income is still 7% below 2007 levels and sits at the same level as 1989. We know for a fact that wages have been stagnant since 2007. We know for a fact GDP has barely broken 2% since 2009. We know for a fact the price of healthcare, food, energy, tuition, rent, and a myriad of other daily living expenses are dramatically higher since 2009. We know mortgage originations are at 1997 levels. We know housing starts are 60% below the 2005 highs and at levels seen during the 1991 and 1981 recessions. Existing home sales are 30% below the 2005 high, only up 10% from 2012 levels, and sitting at levels reached in 1999 before the boom.

A critical thinking person might wonder how median single family home prices could possibly skyrocket by 37% in the last three years when household incomes are falling, living expenses rising, and the number of houses being sold are at recessionary levels. The stinking rotting fish again sits in the hallways of the Eccles Building in Washington D.C. Janet “Yellowfish” Yellen has inherited the bubble blowing machine from Ben “Blowfish” Bernanke and has continued to inflate a new housing bubble, because one housing bubble just isn’t enough.

As America the global cop goes after FIFA corruption, it might want to consider cleaning its own house first.

There is a word for the appropriate type of housing the banksters responsible for this mess deserve: prison. Or maybe they want to see how far they can push the US population before we start considering the French approach: guillotines.

Because, seriously, fuck them.

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