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MULTICARE: Rich salaries are not ‘deserved’

Letter by Eugene Wiegman, Tacoma on Dec. 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm with 2 Comments »
December 27, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: “Millions for MultiCare CEO” (TNT, 12-21).

What is happening to good sense? The multimillion-dollar salary to the CEO of MultiCare is outrageous when considering what patients are paying for their insurance and out-of-pocket expenses.

The expenses for patients continue to rise every year at a rate much higher than inflation and have passed the breaking point for many. If the CEO, vice-presidents of hospitals and medical insurance companies continue to get this kind of compensation, health care will not be affordable for many Americans.

What was amazing in the article is that the salary for the CEO was defended by MultiCare’s chairman of the board, John Folsom as “well deserved.”

Nonsense. I have worked and supported Community Health Care for 41 years. It is a great community service. Executive Director David Flentge and the nurses, doctors and staff do an excellent job without salaries comparable to MultiCare’s.

While other community-minded health care providers are cutting staff and freezing salaries, these people are enriching themselves. As a pastor, I work with low- and middle-income citizens who are not able to make their bills, so medical costs must be viewed by these families as luxuries. Try telling these families that the salaries being paid at the executive level at MultiCare are fair. What is happening to the idea of public service?

(Wiegman, a Lutheran Church pastor and former president of Pacific Lutheran University, is a former MultiCare board member.)

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  1. truthbusterguy says:

    Can’t we call it a truce on all this class warfare. Don’t you get it, the democrats are trying to divide the country in an attempt to make you think they care about you. Don’t fall for this. Lets work harder on getting along and moving forward.

  2. GetOverIt says:

    This editorial is ridiculous. Quit with the whining and the “what is happening to the idea of public service” rant. Class envy at its finest (or worst).
    These positions pay because they carry significant responsibilities and expectations. These positions are not filled with burger flippers. Individuals that hold executive positions have dedicated their lives to education, gaining life & industry experience & doing what is required to stand out and EARN their positions AND salaries. Why should someone work their entire life to gain valuable experience and skill sets and step up to take on immense amounts of responsibility for a salary that fits your liking instead of what the market will bear? Why would anyone want to be CEO of MultiCare at a salary that you would like them to receive, when with their knowledge, skills and abilities could be CEO of another organization and earn a much better living and be paid for the work and responsibilities that come with the title. With big pay comes big expectations. If those expectations aren’t met the person risks losing the position and the salary.
    As far as the public or community service issue you raise, how does making a significant salary equate to not contributing to public service? Do you assume that with this income nothing good comes to the community? Do these people in these position not contribute to charities? Do they not do work for non-profits or help fund-raise for them? You assume these individuals, MultiCare CEO in this case, hoard their money and look out their ivory tower window down on the little people laughing at the misery they see before them. All the while stoking their fire’s with stacks of 100 dollar bills.
    Maybe we should analyze the compensation package of a Pastor and determine if it is excessive, after all its all about community service, not money.
    These positions pay what the market will bear, you just need to get over it.

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