Monday, January 2, 2012

Health Care Nots Portend?

Gail Wilensky, a former Medicare administrator and adviser to Republicans told the Associated Press:

"Medicare as we have known it is not part of our future."

Add the 2006 comment from Andy Stern, former Service Employees International Union President.

"We have to recognize that employer-based health care is ending. It's dying. It will not return,"

With government and employers capping their health care exposure,the individual will bear the brunt of increased costs. 

Yet, one group has hope.  The greed boys have their eye on health care as the ground shifts mightily. Which brings us back to Gail Wilensky, clearly part of the big money club.  She received over $1.1 million for her part time board work, with $1 million coming from health care companies that serve Medicare.

Board Pay

Quest Diagnostics $279,648
United Health $302,565
SRA International $114,114
Brianscope privately held

Her stock and option holdings stood at:
(number of shares according to latest SEC filings DEF 14A):

Quest Diagnostics           341,889
United Health           314,913

The gross amount of these holdings totaled $44 million, nearly $20 million in Quest and $16 million in United Health.  Wilensky's personal proceeds would  be less, given stock options usually come with an exercise price.

Under Wilensky's directorship ManorCare was sold to The Carlyle Group, SRA International to Providence Equity Partners and Cephalon to Teva Pharmaceuticals. Both Carlyle and Providence are private equity underwriters (PEUs).

Gail Wilensky pioneered greed with her call for Medicare Pay for Performance in 2003.   Wilensky experienced this personally at United Health, where CEO William McGuire robbed shareholders by backdating stock options.  Extrinsic motivators distorted behavior to garner the prize, a lesson Wilensky is yet to learn. 

Medicare Pay for Performance will cause the same distortions over time.  Will 30% lie, cheat or steal to garner the prize, like corporate CEOs?

Wilensky's firms, the ones yet to sell out, are betting on Medicare changing and employers pulling back.  They plan to serve the monied side of healthcare, which leaves providers scrambling to repair holes in the safety net.  For many safety net providers the repair job will be too great.  They'll sell out for rock bottom prices to the Wilenskys and PEUs of the world, which will flip them later for huge profits.

Are you starting to see the game?  Their wallet gets fatter, while yours thins.  If that's not galling enough, they're playing with your life.  Welcome to PPP & P4P, where you pay.