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Anger Over Salaries of Health Care Execs

June 14, 1992

The article "California's Highest-Paid Business Executives" (May 17) certainly gives a clue to the destination of many health dollars.

How many underserved maternity patients and children might be helped by the multimillion-dollar salaries of the officers at National Medical Enterprises?

The exorbitant profits (and the concomitant outrageous incomes of pharmaceutical company CEOs) posted by drug firms can be explained by sky-high prescription prices paid by debilitated seniors with marginal incomes. The enormous advertising budgets of the health insurance firms and the HMOs divert millions away from patient care.

During my 40 years in the health care field, many thousands of hours were given to serving the poor. The salaries of those NME administrators could support the budgets of 30 clinics. Untold times I was unable to refer seriously ill poor patients for lack of facilities in the L.A. community. If the Richard Eamers, Leonard Cohens and John Bedrosians weren't pigging it up at the health care trough, some of those people might have been able to receive the care they needed.

Where are America's priorities? How long will we allow these outrages to continue while our people go without the care every other industrial society provides?

SIMON A. SAYRE, M.D.

Ojai

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