Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gail Wilensky's For-Profit Health Care Conflicts

Gail Wilensky testified before the Senate Finance Committee considering health care reform. Her board directorship list rivals White House Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle and Mrs. Evan Bayh. Here's the scorecard:

Gail Wilensky- 6 boards
Nancy Ann DeParle-9 boards
Susan Bayh-7 boards

Mrs. Wilensky's Health Care Board positions include:

UnitedHealth-a huge health insurer

Gentiva Health Services-comprehensive home health care

Quest Diagnostics-clinical lab services

SRA International-services include health consulting for global clients, public & private

Cephalon-Pharmaecutical manufacturer

ManorCare-long term care company (since acquired by The Carlyle Group)

The early discussion didn't lay out coverage solutions, but how to tax community hospitals. Mrs. Wilensky stated nonprofit hospitals no longer deserve their preferred tax status, in light of health care reform proposals. I wondered how the for-profit sector would stress safety net hospitals, forcing them to sell out on the cheap. This may be the method. How skewed is Gail's perspective?

Mrs. Wilensky's 2008 Board Compensation

United Health- $253,678
Gentiva- $152,606
Quest- $291,644
SRA- $179,659
Cephalon- $339,812
Total- $1,217,399

Add her stock holdings in those same companies and Mrs. Wilensky has serious skin in the game of health reform.

United Health-335,890 shares @ $27 = $9 million
Gentiva- 35,558 @$19 = $675,000
Quest- 116,891 @ $52 = $6 million
SRA- 20,000 @ $16.50 = $330,000
Cephalon- 65,000 @ $66.50 = $4.3 million

Total = $20.3 million

In addition Gail flipped 25,000 stock options for a net gain of $1.1 million in December 2007. When the Carlyle Group purchased ManorCare, Gail got another $1.4 million. That was one Merry Christmas!

Annual pay of $1.2 million, stock holdings of $20.3 million & 2007 stock sales of $2.5 million? That's $24 million, serious skin in the for-profit health care game. No wonder she dissed nonprofit community hospitals.

Did Mrs. Wilensky reveal her conflicts of interest during her public testimony? Not a chance.

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