Monday, March 7, 2011

Silence is Golden, but Costly

In case you missed it, former Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Cleve Killingsworth received an $11 million golden parachute after announcing his retirement.

While we believe in fair compensation, this time, it has gone a step too far and we can’t help but draw many comparisons between this recent event and ties to the Patrick/Murray administration.

According to a recent Boston Herald editorial, “Blue Cross Blue Shield has indeed been very good to Patrick, so too has Killingsworth.” The editorial goes on to say, “Killingsworth has over the years given more than $16,500 to Democratic candidates and to the party since 2004, including a total of $2,200 to Patrick and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.”

Even our good friends over at the Boston Globe agree. In an editorial, they had this to say: “At a time when elected officials, hospitals, doctors, and insurers are all trying to hold down health-cost inflation, the pay, severance, and retirement money doled out to Cleve Killingsworth is an insult to well-meaning reformers.”

While all this is going on, less than a year ago, Governor Patrick blamed big health insurance company’s salaries and retirement packages as one of the sole reasons for the sky-rocketing health insurance premiums. But, when the Governor was pressed about the Blue Cross Blue Shield issue on Friday, he said “It doesn’t matter what I think. I’m not going to get into managing individual companies or individual compensation.” What a convenient time for the Governor to think his opinion doesn’t matter.

One thing that is clear is that money and donations from former CEO Killingsworth, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shields board members has bought silence from the Patrick/Murray administration. One can only wonder for how long it will continue to do so.

Click here to read the Boston Herald editorial in its entirety.

Click here to read the Boston Globe's editorial in its entirety.