Another pitting of the US health”care” system

I stumbled upon a multi million dollar expense on our company books for “Executive Physicals”. I thought these are mighty expensive physical exams. Turns out they are concierge medical arrangements for our jet set executives. Not only do they get to jump queues at hundreds of medical centers across the country, they can get a PCP to come to home, office, hotel, conference center, etc. Even at their beach/lake/ski houses.

I am not going to get too bent about a few executive perks like that. Theirs can be a shitty job where you are on call 24/7/365, and high-pressure long days are the norm. I am sure these plans also cover well their use of anti-depressants and sedatives. It’s not a job I’d want - they can have better health benefits than mine - they’re gonna need it.

It’s a tax and legal issue. Executive Physicals (annual physical exams) are not a taxable benefit even if they are not available to all employees.

Other healthcare coverage not generally made available to employees is taxable. Calling then “Executive Physicals” doesn’t make it non-taxable any more than calling my dog a “family member” garners another tax exemption.

It also wasn’t approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. And of course it wasn’t approved by the Board because then half a dozen CPAs who “failed to notice the mid characterization” would not have that kind of plausible deniability.

IOW, it’s all kinds of illegal unless it’s done in an open and above board basis.

I called a new doctor for an appointment today. The receptionist transferred me to THE OFFICE MEDICAL NAVIGATOR. This person’s job is apparently to determine if I really do need to see the doctor. And no, it was not a multi doctor office, just one doctor. She annoyed me with a barrage of questions, I asked for her supervisor, I have my appointment on Monday, but WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

This person is not there to assist the doctor. This person is there to assist the insurance company by pruning as many patients as possible from the appointment list.


When I was a salaried programmer, I was on call 24/7/365 and working minimum 50 weeks under high-pressure. Somehow, I didn’t rate a concierge doctor or stock options or a million dollar salary.

I’ve been around executives most of my working lived, routinely the only non-executive in the meeting or conference.

There are lots of good people in their ranks, but they all look the other way when their peers are acting badly. Having sexual relationships with staff, availing themselves of unauthorized perks. Engaging in all sorts of tax dodged that you and I can’t dream of.

Despite what you hear from the folklore, when an EVPs parent is hospitalized or their child is injured in a skiing accident, they drop everything and can go largely offline for days, even weeks. I’d get fired if I did that, never mind a frontline worker.

And if they want to say fuck it, I’m outta here or they are fired for something truly egregious, there’s always a big severance payment. No one wants to fight it. Not even the general counsel. After all they could be the one in that situation.

No matter how ugly the C-Suite politics gets pay and perks are as sacrosanct as police pensions.

In other words, fuck those guys. They don’t “deserve” better medical care than anyone else.

That’s because much of what most high-level executives do is either useless or counterproductive. To the extent that they do perform essential tasks, their subordinates generally can do it better and more competently. So said high-priced execs are generally pretty dispensable. The organization often benefits if they go away for a few weeks or more.

There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between. Steve Jobs is not one of them, because he wasn’t an “executive” so much as a visionary and innovator, and he was actually terrible at managing people. When John Sculley replaced him, that regime was at best controversial, and Apple’s growth during that period was arguably due to Jobs’ innovations, not Sculley’s management, and Sculley was ultimately kicked out the door.

The only real exception I can think of offhand is Lou Gerstner, although certainly there must be many others. Coming from Nabisco, and ridiculed at IBM as the breakfast cereal guy, he did indeed manage to turn around IBM and save it from extinction. But note that dozens of other hugely successful tech companies with tens of billions in global sales also tried to save themselves with new CEOs, and they all failed. In many cases, the failure was so unsurprising and predictable that even as these new CEOs were proclaiming brave new initiatives, key people were leaving in droves.

So the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. all work for free? And all the supplies are donated by medical supply companies?

Because that’s the only way that the cost could actually be zero.

Damn. I think I figured out what @glee meant. Didn’t you?

glee was referring to the cost to the patient and I think everyone else was able to understand. If you’re worried about the entire cost to the system then, yes, that’s a very significant cost–nearly half of what the same thing would cost in the US.

But if @glee needed services @Bootb shouldn’t have to pay for it. You see, Bootb is a broad shouldered PRODUCER of wealth, not a LEACH, right?

No, you disingenuous stupid fuck, what they mean is that the incremental cost to the patient is zero, which is the same thing I experienced both in medical emergencies and in routine doctor visits. Zero cost.

The funding comes from a concept of shared communal wealth (the “commonwealth”) which results in both universal accessibility to health care and a per-capita cost among comparable OECD nations that is less than half of the cost under the dysfunctional system favoured by ideologically blinded right-wing troglodytes like yourself, in the only country in the world whose health care “system” is so totally fucked up that most Americans pay unbelievably exorbitant amounts for health insurance, and the rest don’t have any at all.

I’m sorry if you’re not familiar with Universal Health Care Universal health care. - Wikipedia
Of course I meant that the cost to me at the time of all that life-saving medical care was £0.
Like everyone else in the UK, part of my my taxes go towards our wonderful National Health System. National Health Service - Wikipedia

(I don’t know where you are posting from, but I hope you get Universal Health Care.

What a stupid comment. You are so fucking dumb, you don’t know how universal health care insurance works.

And you are likely thrilled with paying double per capita for healthcare and getting poorer health outcomes.

ETA. Wolfpup said it better.

So you’re a mind reader? Because that’s not what the post said, you ignorant idiot.

If that’s what you meant, then why didn’t you say that?

This is the problem with you proponents of socialism – you say something stupid and incorrect, and then when you get called out on it, you whine, “But that’s not what I meant.”

Of course I know how it works. I was doing glee the courtesy of taking his post at face value.

You, on the other hand, are a worthless piece of trash.

I really don’t understand why people not profiting from the American health care industry as it exists defend it so vociferously.

Because they believe that the people being screwed over are the undeserving parasite class.