Health Industry CEOs Received Large Bonuses During Overhaul Debate
CEOs and other top officials and lobbyists of several prominent health industry groups received large bonuses and compensation payouts in 2009 during the peak of the debate on health reform, according to publicly available tax records for that year, Kaiser Health News/Politico reports.
According to the records, which typically lag by a year, CEOs at nine of 12 health care trade associations -- including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the BlueCross BlueShield Association -- each received compensation of at least $1 million, including bonuses, deferred compensation and other benefits. Some health industry lobbyists received compensation between $250,000 and more than $1 million.
According to KHN/Politico, most of the compensation packages were approved by the trade associations' boards in 2008, before the overhaul debate really began in earnest, and the pay levels for some executives actually were lower in 2009 than in 2008.
KHN/Politico reports that it is increasingly common for the packages to include base pay, a bonus and deferred compensation as incentives for officials to meet financial, advocacy and other goals.
Details of Some Compensation Packages
According to the 2009 IRS records:
- Billy Tauzin, the former PhRMA CEO, received a $2.3 million bonus on top of a base salary of $2.1 million;
- James Bryant Hall, a leading federal lobbyist for PhRMA, received a bonus of $91,750 in addition to his $371,182 base pay;
- Scott Serota, CEO of BCBS, earned a $1.6 million bonus in addition to a base salary of $856,055; and
- Alissa Fox, BCBS' chief lobbyist, received a $130,000 bonus on top of a base salary of $278,760 (Vaida, Kaiser Health News/Politico, 1/5).