On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted this victory for the working classes on Twitter:
Wow, what a great story about the GOP tax plan trickling down to the little guy!
The Louisville-based company announced Tuesday that because of the lower corporate income tax rate, it’s investing in its employees. It’s raising the minimum hourly rate for full- and part-time associates to $15 an hour. The company is also accelerating a previously announced incentive program for employees.
Here are some facts about Humana:
Humana is an insurance company based in Louisville, Kentucky. The company employs 12,000 people in Kentucky, and roughly 50,000 people nationwide. Bruce Broussard has served as CEO of Humana since 2013. In 2015, Broussard made $10.3 million. Between 2015 and 2016, the company decided to raise its executives’ salaries by 90 percent. Broussard saw his compensation nearly double in that time period, from $10.3 million to $19.7 million—$1.2 million in corporate salary and $16.3 million in stock options.
Last August, Humana posted $650 million in quarterly net income and a 20-cent increase in adjusted earnings per share. Did the company celebrate these gains by passing the profits onto its workers?
One month after posting its second-quarter earnings, the company offered voluntary buyouts to employees over the age of 55 who had worked at Humana for more than five years. 1,150 employees took them. Two months after that, Humana announced it would be laying off 1,300 more employees, or roughly 3 percent of the company’s workforce.
Why would a giant company like Humana shed roughly 5 percent of its workforce so suddenly? Because at the beginning of 2018, Humana left the federal health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act, pulling out of the 11 remaining states where the company had offered insurance on the individual exchanges.
Instead, Humana is doubling down on “quality membership growth” through its Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans. At a stockholder meeting last April, Broussard outlined Humana’s core goal: profiting off of aging and elderly people, as well as those living with chronic health conditions.
“As you look at the demographics of our industry, it is quite favorable,” Broussard said in his presentation today. “As you look at the societal problem around chronic conditions and our ability to affect to those chronic conditions, it present a great opportunity for us as an organization.”
Meanwhile, Humana’s political action committee donated $715,000 to federal candidates in 2016—46 percent to Democrats and 54 percent to Republicans—including $10,000 to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), enemy of Jimmy Kimmel and co-author of the GOP’s bill to repeal Obamacare.
Private health insurance is an immoral racket that helps the healthy and hurts the sick; it benefits mainly people like Bruce Broussard, and immiserates people who aren’t lucky enough to draw multi-million stock options on top of six-figure executive salaries each year.
The GOP tax bill only serves to exacerbate that dynamic. Now Mitch McConnell is perversely touting Humana as proof that trickle-down economics works.
More good news for vampiric industries that feed on the suffering of Americans is that my blood pressure is spiking!