Your Scumbag, Part 3
is H. Edward Hanway, CEO of CIGNA. Over the past
five years he's been paid over $121 million dollars.
Forbes Magazine lists him as the 28th highest paid
CEO in the U.S.
In a world of Exxon's and Monsanto's, #28 is an
impressive barometer of greed.
Recently, former 20-year CIGNA employee Wendell
Potter has been on Capitol Hill sharing his experiences
about the company. To wit:
"They confuse their customers and dump the
sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street
investors. They look carefully to see if a sick
policyholder may have omitted a minor illness,
condition, when applying for coverage, and then
they use that as justification to cancel the policy,
even if the enrollee has never missed a premium
a small number of enrollees can have a big effect
on the bottom line."
Small businesses, in particular, he said, have
had trouble maintaining their employee health insurance
"All it takes is one illness or accident among
employees at a small business to prompt an insurance
to hike the next year's premiums so high that the
employer has to cut benefits, shop for another
carrier, or stop offering coverage altogether.
Potter also faulted insurance companies for being
misleading both in advertising their policies to
new customers and in communicating with existing
More and more people, he said, are falling victim
to "deceptive marketing practices" that
encourage them to buy "what essentially is
fake insurance," policies with high costs
but surprisingly limited benefits.
Insurance companies continue to mislead consumers
through "explanation of benefits" documents
that note what payments the insurance company made
and what's left for consumers to pay out of pocket,
The documents, he said, are "notoriously incomprehensible."
"Insurers know that policyholders are so baffled
by those notices they usually just ignore them
or throw them away. And that's exactly the point," he
said. "If they were more understandable, more
consumers might realize that they are being ripped
little local store that went belly-up in the
midst of the recession has re-opened as a La
Rancho Mercado. This is good news.
For one thing, my community is largely hispanic
so a store that speaks their gustatory language
For another, it offers a variety of foods
I don't usually see, not the least of which are
fresh-made flour tortillas. Velvety-soft and as
close to manna from Heaven as I'll ever get.
Best of all is that the Wal-Mart across the street
has suddenly lost half its business as El Rancho
was PACKED with mamasitas the last time I stopped
This is called "poetic justice" as Wal-Mart is mostly responsible for
the death of my little corner store. Consider this Death Watch Part One.
What I really wanted to talk about was El Rancho's
vast selection of pan dulce. A zillion different,
varieties with exotic names like bolillo, cuerno,
picones and the lovely nino envuelto, all of
which basically taste like newspaper.
Quick story: When I was in the
fifth grade my class was given extra credit
if we baked a cake.
It was a "learn by doing" kind of assignment.
I made mine according to the profferred recipe
but somehow forgot to add the
No one ate
friend, not even me.
If I'd known better I'd have said it was pan dulce.
This stuff has to get some sort of award
for being the inverse square of confections, in
that the prettier it looks the worse it tastes.
And I get suckered in by it every single time
I always buy some when I find a new panaderia.
I just naturally assume that the odds are
increasingly in my favor that I'll eventually
find one made by a cook who actually understands
mystery of sugar.
So far, I'm nada for infinito. But I'll keep trying.