Wonderful New Article on Senate Compromsie

Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein have just published an excellent new analysis of the Senate compromise on health care on the New York Times Blog.  The two Harvard researchers and physicians– founders of Physicians for a National Health Program — have been documenting the high cost-low result ratio of American health care for years.  They’ve done amazing analyses of how much the American health care system spends — no make that wastes — on administration, profit and marketing.  Just one tidbit. In one article they documented that former Harvard Geriatrician John Rowe made something like $223,000 (or was it $221,000) a day as CEO of Aetna.  With my poor math skills I tried to convert that into an hourly wage.  So if s, abiding by the new insurance version of the Hippocratic oath — First Make More Money — Rowe worked a ten hour day, his hourly pay was $22,300.  In just two hours, he made the average salary of a nurse in one year and in seven hours the average pay of a primary care doc.  Once you get these figures you understand why we can’t pay nurses and primary care physicians more.  The money has been fully committed elsewhere.

At any rate, Himmelstein and Woolhandler have just printed a pithy analysis of what’s wrong with the Senate compromise.  Check it out at the following URL


  • Michelle Bond

    I have been a nurse for 18 years, this article made me physically sick. RN’s work so hard to provide safe, quality patient care under a system that is so dysfunctional. Many times I have wondered “Why do I do continue to work in this type of environment?”, nurses are underpaid, overworked, working in venues that have dysfunctional processes, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Nurses have the responsibiltiy to ensure that physicians are ordering correct medications, tests, and procedures-yet we are not compensated as well as they are. We are suppose to be intelligent enough to know when a physician is ordering something incorrectly but we do not recieve the same compensation or prestige that a physician enjoys. I cannot even fathom that a CEO can make so much money when nurses are struggling to get an extra nursing assistant who makes $10/hour to help take care of patients. There is something really wrong with this picture.

Leave a Comment