Thirty-four top executives at 10 failed Obamacare co-ops were paid a whopping $8,211,384 in 2014, according to 990 tax forms obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
New York had the highest total, having paid four of its employees an astounding total of $1,156,317 , with Health Republic Insurance of New York CEO Debra Friedman taking in $427,632 and COO Nicholas Liguori making $316,411. Nevada Health Cooperative’s CEO had the highest salary of the year, receiving $428,001 in compensation for 2014.
Arizona’s Compass Cooperative Mutual Health Network, Inc. also provided hefty salaries — its CEO Kathleen Oestreich was compensated $377,279, while its COO Jean Tkachyk made $351,807.
The generous salaries were not new for 2014. In 2013, the top five employees of the South Carolina and Iowa-Nebraska exchange took in $1,722,652.
Over half of the 23 co-ops – designed to increase competition in the marketplace – have failed since they kicked off in 2011, and another eight are expected to follow suit. The cooperatives received $2.5 billion in federal loans, $1.4 billion of which have not been repaid – putting the burden on the taxpayer.
Despite the mass failure, Democratic 2016 hopeful former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for more non-profit health insurance providers during CNN’s Democratic Town Hall Sunday.
“You know, Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be non-profits. And then they transferred themselves into for-profit companies,” she said. “And there was some effort made under the Affordable Care Act to get some competition from non-profit institutions, some of them worked and a lot of them didn’t. I want to know what we can do, because if you could get a range of insurers, some of who were not-for-profit companies, that would lower costs.”
During a hearing in November, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief of Staff Mandy Cohen cited a shortage of funds as part of the problem as to why so many of them were failures – a claim slammed by Republican lawmakers.
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