Friday, July 18, 2008


Poor William L. Jews. His compensation package for leaving his position as CareFirst CEO has been cut by more than half. This means Mr. Jews will not get the $18 million severance he was expecting, but will receive less than 9 million bucks. Can you imagine having to get by on just shy of 9 million bucks? I mean, you can't even buy a decent Santa Barbara estate for that kind of money anymore.

Why was this outrage perpetrated? Well, it seems CareFirst is a nonprofit health provider, like New York's GHI and HIP:

In a 65-page order, state Insurance Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler wrote that CareFirst's board had violated a 2003 state law requiring executive pay for the nonprofit to meet a "fair and reasonable" standard. The decision marks the first test of the law, which was passed by legislators furious with Jews for trying to convert CareFirst to a for-profit entity and sell it to a California company.

The proposed deal to sell CareFirst included $39 million in potential bonuses for Jews and led to sharp criticism over the insurer's pay to executives, which helped to scuttle the deal. While executive pay has skyrocketed on Wall Street, lawmakers and regulators have argued that CareFirst should be held to a different standard. The company is the region's largest insurer, but its nonprofit status means that its mission should be to provide affordable and accessible health insurance, they contend.

So that, apparently, is the problem. Had Mr. Jews been successful in converting the company to "for-profit" status, he'd have been able to collect his 18 mil, and policy holders would have been left to pay the tab one way or another. In fact, NYC employees, most of whom are covered under GHI and HIP, are facing a very similar situation.

UFT/ AFT President Randi Weingarten is fighting privatization right now. That's because she'd like a larger share of the IPO to feed her Unity/New Action patronage mill, which now has to sputter by on less than a hundred million per annum. And heartbreaking though her situation may be, the fact is that "for-profit" status will most certainly mean price-hikes and care reduction for most of the city's employees.

There is an intrepid group of teachers fighting this money grab and you can find them right here. Here is their most recent newsletter. And here's something you can do tonight, if you're so inclined:

Our next meeting is Friday July 18th at 6:30pm at 339 Lafayette St. Buzzer #11 Please email us at or call (718) 869-2279

If you're a teacher, don't be afraid to reach out and let Ms. Weingarten know you oppose privatization. Ms. Weingarten, living in a rah-rah Unity cocoon, is blissfully unaware that there are working teachers who can envision the future. Her double-pensioned sycophants are not about to educate her, so it's up to us.

We are teachers, after all. But you're also doing it for the police, the firefighters, and all the hard-working people that make the city what it is.
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