Santa Monica, CA -- Four days after the release of an Internet-based animation depicting WellPoint chairman Leonard Schaeffer as a "Pig Person from Outer Space (PPO)" for his $250 million bonus following a recent merger, SEC documents released today show that Schaeffer will receive millions of dollars in additional payments.
To watch the animation visit: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/PigPeople
"Schaeffer will always be the poster-boy for piggish health insurance executives that get rich while average patients struggle to afford their health care. Schaeffer has become a liability for the company not just because he is sucking out so much money, but because he is a public symbol of what is wrong with health care profiteering," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "Schaeffer can't hide from the fact that he is arguably health care's most piggish CEO. Schaeffer's obscene orgy at the patients' trough will continue to be a rallying point for reformers."
The animation, entitled "Pig People from Outer Space (PPOs)," shows PPOs, HMOs and other health insurers as money hungry aliens that will stop at nothing to gouge unsuspecting business owners, leaving patients uninsured. In the final scene, a caricature of former Blue Cross of California CEO Leonard Schaeffer is shown lording over piggish insurance aliens. FTCR was the lead group opposing the merger of WellPoint, parent company of Blue Cross of California, and Anthem Inc. FTCR was first to expose the up to $600 million in bonuses for top executives.
According to SEC documents released today, Schaeffer will receive "certain cash and non cash interests and benefits," including office space and clerical staff for six years, in addition to cash bonuses. Schaeffer's annual office rent allowance is $186,000 in addition to $6,000 per year for "parking charges."
On Monday, FTCR launched the animation and an Internet petition urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Insurance Commissioner Garamendi, and the State Legislature to crack down on insurance company greed by regulating health insurance premiums in the same manner as auto and home insurance premiums under Prop 103. Prop 103, approved by state voters in 1988, requires insurers to justify rate increases and bans excessive and unfair rates. Since 1988, California drivers have saved $24 billion as a result of Prop 103. If policy makers fail to act, petition signers agree to support the policy change in the form of a citizen-backed initiative at the ballot box.
According to SEC documents and filings made with the California Department of Managed Health Care ("DMHC"), Leonard Schaeffer will receive $250 million dollars in cash and stock as a result of the recent merger between WellPoint, parent company of Blue Cross of California, and Anthem Inc. The DMHC is currently investigating whether Blue Cross of California and WellPoint executives broke promises they made to state regulators to not raise premiums in order to pay for merger-related costs and executive bonuses.
For more information regarding the WellPoint/Anthem merger, go to: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/healthcosts/
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is California's leading nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization.