Medi-Cal Exec Grabs $515 K Salary

John Seiler:

The head of Orange County’s Medi-Cal socialized medicine program makes a whopping $515,743 salary, the Orange County Register reported:

The top ten executives at CalOptima, Orange County’s $1.3 billion Medi-Cal program, are in line this year to earn bonuses from$20,700 to $67,000. That would push chief executive officer Richard Chambers’ total compensation to $515,743, according to numbers provided by CalOptima.

Chambers’ bonus plus his car allowance would be $72,976.

But CalOptima officials say the agency’s compensation packages are moderate compared with those offered elsewhere in the health industry for similar jobs.

For instance, tax documents show that the head of CHOC hospital receives $1,518,607. The head of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach earns $1,266,138.

Figures provided by CalOptima show that the CEOs of Amerigroup, CenteneHealth Net and Molina, all publicly traded health plans with heavy Medicaid business, have total compensation packages ranging from$2.4 million to $10.4 million.

That’s what these government people always say: In the private sector, they would be paid more. So their exorbitant salaries really are a bargain to taxpayers.

In that case, why don’t they go into the private sector?

The fact is that these government jobs primarily are political. It’s grabbing billions from taxpayers and doling it out to special interests. Sure, some people are helped along the way with their health problems. But as Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a physician, points out, before all these government programs were imposed in the 1960s, a much more efficient and humane charity system existed to help the poor.

Moreover, if private-sector comparisons are the key factor in government salaries, we should pay the U.S. president tens of billions a year. After all, the heads of Apple, Google, IBM, GE, Exxon, etc., don’t have an army and 10,000 nuclear weapons.

And the governor of California should be paid at least $1 billion. His decisions affect every person and business in this state.

But everybody acknowledges that the president and governor are politicians.

So are government medical bureaucrats. As government bureaucrats, their max pay should be that of state legislators. Currently that’s $95,000.

June 20, 2011


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