Say it Whitman: The Boston Herald celebrates itself and sings itself yet again today. And it goes all the way back to yesterday for celebratory material.
Actually, the feisty local tabloid brandishes two – count ’em, two – former front pages in its latest Blue Cross Blue Shield drive-by:
More grist for the mill:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ newly resurrected and highly controversial payout program for its board of directors includes a $1,500 bonus for any member who shows up at a meeting — and a $500 check just for calling in by phone.
All told, the plan — which the insurer called “modest” — could cost more than $800,000 this year alone. Blue Cross Blue Shield had suspended director pay in March 2011, amid public outcry over an $11 million severance package to a CEO who resigned abruptly after the nonprofit posted a cat astrophic $149 million loss.
“It’s a little shocking that it took two years to come up with a plan to go back to the future,” said state Sen. Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford), who has fought against such pay plans for years. “We have decided as a state to allow the delivery of health care, including insurance, through a not-for-profit charity. Most people, reasonable people, would say volunteers on the board of a charity should not be compensated.”
Then again, most people aren’t Paul Guzzi, Gloria Larson, Ralph Martin, and the other business-types-as-usual who populate the board.
Regardless, most people do have something to say about it. Start with the Herald’s obligatory YOU react feature:
Except, of course, BC/BS is a non-profit. Not to get technical about it.
In the comments section, reader reactions are less, well, measured.
P.S. The Boston Globe also takes a second look at BC/BS, but from a slightly different angle.
Earnings rose for Blue Cross, not others
The state’s largest health insurer boosted its earnings in 2012, while three other Massachusetts health plans reported net income declines from the previous year as they absorbed a new state assessment to fund initiatives under a cost containment law, according to financial reports filed Friday with state regulators.
Health insurers also released executive compensation figures, with total pay increases ranging from 6.8 percent to 51.4 percent for chief executive officers.
Take that, Herald commenters!