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Letter: Outrageous salary

Re “Hospital names new CEO” (Monitor front page, Oct. 3):

I read with interest the article on the replacement for Concord Hospital CEO Michael Green – especially the fact the his compensation for last year was more than $800,000. I find this to be outrageous for a nonprofit hospital that receives substantial tax breaks because of this status.

It was especially upsetting considering Green’s recent statements concerning the hospital’s refusal to join the network for policies sold on the new heath insurance marketplace. As a self-employed individual who will lose access to my doctor of 30 years because of this decision, I am shocked that one individual earns so much in compensation, especially considering that this is New Hampshire and not Boston or New York City.

Even if Green is considered an excellent CEO, the amount of compensation is not proportional to the alleged goals of a nonprofit hospital. It is no wonder why the medical system in the United States is the most expensive in the world and that the U.S. leads the developed countries in the number of uninsured individuals. How this type of compensation can be justified is beyond my comprehension. Hopefully the new CEO who has a background in community health will revisit the decision to keep Concord Hospital network out of the insurance exchange. Medial services should be about making sure that all Americans can access health care when they need it and not about paying the CEO of a nonprofit hospital compensation that cannot be justified.

DONALD BISSON

Concord

If you think Obamacare is bad, you should see what Mr. Green offers to the employees of Concord Hospital. Sure as "God made little green apples" I bet you the new CEO's agenda will be to make it even worse.

Was Green's salary shocking? Yes. Was I surprised? No. Just another example of why our health care system is bankrupting individuals and perhaps eventually our country. And Concord Hospital is a non-profit? Most hospitals today are for-profit. Imagine what their CEO salaries are. I would bet that many other executives at Concord Hospital make well into 6 figures. These are administrators, not doctors who actually heal patients. Our health care is so expensive because everyone wants a piece of the pie. Hospitals, insurance companies, drug makers, medical devise makers, doctors, etc... And as consumers, how are we supposed to shop for medical care? Who is going to call a surgeon to ask him how much he charges for a procedure? No one. Every other modernized country in the world has figured out the answer: single-payer.

First and foremost, it is none of anyone's business how much Green makes and most people have no idea what a CEO of a hospital is responsible for and the pressure and responsibility that comes with the job. Green is not just drafting plans for a bridge or highway or single tasking one simple initiative. He is on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If a person earns $80,000 and works 40 hours per week, figure that one out. 24 hours versus 8 hours a day=$240,000 and then the extra two days vs 5 days=$96,000 and that would be if Green had a single tasking job. It has nothing to do with a piece of the pie, you get paid in this country by your level or expertise, your level of responsibility and your level or performance. But it is not only that, the board of directors decides what a person is worth and what he or she is paid. In the scheme of things, Green's salary has little to do with the cost of health care. CH gives away millions in charitable free care. It does take hospitals, insurance companies, drug makers, medical device makers, doctors, etc. A good analogy would be that it takes engineers, construction workers, concrete contractors, paving companies, construction equipment manufacturers, etc. to build a highway. Would it be fair to assume then that "everyone" wants a piece of the pie?

My point was not about Green's salary. I'm sure you took as jealousy--which it is not. It's about how broken our health care system is. We're all paying for health care through the nose to the benefit of a few because the free-market system simply doesn't work in health care. Contractors build roads and bridges after they've won an open bid against any other qualified contractor. This is impossible in health care. So health care providers get to charge pretty much anything they want. Whether it's lab work, a consultation, surgery, pills, whatever. This is why a hospital can charge $100 for a tube of Bacitracin or $1.50 for a Tylenol. You see the bill AFTER treatment, not before. And we have a fee-for-service system with doctors having to be very careful against lawsuits. I almost can't blame them for doing test after test, consultation after consultation, prescribing drug after drug.

The point, however, is that you brought up Green's salary to make your point as if that $800,000 makes a difference. Three or four major surgeries add up to more than his salary. I would imagine that you and your wife have company paid insurance; I can't imagine that you believe that Obamacare will be a better deal for your family. What I don't think that you understand is that businesses start at the cost of operations and back out what they must charge to not go out of business. All overhead is taken into account from salaries to aspirin. That is how things work and don't forget that those fees pay the expenses of a non-profit hospital. If there is anything left over, it is reinvested. You point about doctors is on the mark, that is why people want tort reform I also think that people don't get instant gratification from paying any kind of insurance and they want people to share in the cost of their health care. That is not where we ought to be going.

Our form of Government is for Govt to be a referee in life NOT a player. You can access single payer in an number of countries that have other forms of Govt. Canada comes to mind. In the American heritage one was also taught to pay no attention to what others make but go out and make your own life. I believe mothers use to tell children to "mind your own business"

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