Meet Stephen Hemsley. He's the CEO of UnitedHealth. In 2007, he earned $13.2 million dollars. His unexercised stock options total three-quarters of a billion dollars. That's right - billion.
Where does he get all that money? He gets it from you. Your health, to be exact. Every time UnitedHealth denies one of their customers a treatment, that's more money in Hemsley's pocket. Every time UnitedHealth skimps on care, or delays treatments, more money for Hemsley. Hemsley is rich because he keeps you sick, that's just the way it works.
It's not just numbers, not just dollars and cents. Real people suffer so Hemsley can own his $6 million house. Take a look at some of those stories:
Now that's sick. Your health means nothing to these people. Insurance companies only see you as bank accounts from which they can squeeze more cash.
There will be more in this series, called Sick for Profit from Brave New Films. Stay tuned. In the meantime, think about how the health care system works in this country. Anyone who opposes a public health insurance option - or reform in general - wants to keep the system in the hands of people like Hemsley, so he can keep raking in the cash.