WellPoint execs and shareholder hoard cash, call for more layoffs

Last week, executives at private health insurance giant WellPoint [aka Blue Cross Blue Shield] announced to investors at the Morgan Stanley Global Helathcare Conference that ‘€œcash flow is very positive right now’€¦and reserves are coming in better that expected at this point. So things look pretty good.’€

Well of course they are! WellPoint in the biggest private health insurance corporation in America. Just how good is the cash flow? Well, WellPoint’€™s CEO Angela Braly made almost $10 million in 2008, including a $1.7 million raise from her 2007 salary (while the world economy crumbled’€¦). WellPoint’€™s profits are soaring this year ‘€“ in the first quarter of 2009, while more than 10,000 Americans died due to lack of health insurance, WellPoint raked in $611.97 million in profits, more than doubling the $295 million in profits it made during the first quarter last year. Now there’€™s some change teabaggers can believe in.Which I’€™m sure came as surprise to the workers at WellPoint who are staring down the barrel of even more layoffs, which WellPoint executives announced this week could be coming. See, in the midst of WellPoint’€™s profit grab and showering its executives with private jets and million-dollar pay raises, WellPoint’€™s workers are getting the shaft. WellPoint laid off 1,500 workers earlier this year and then went on to ‘€œbeat expectations’€ with huge quarterly profits. Now more layoffs could be coming, even though WellPoint boasted last week about its financial strength. Typical corporate crap.

Pretty clear what’€™s going on here, and it ain’€™t rocket science: WellPoint puts profits ahead of people. WellPoint CEO Braly even admitted as much: ‘€œWe will not sacrifice profitability for membership.‘€

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