If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Slate)   Mother of distressed AOL baby has something to say to the CEO   (slate.com) divider line 274
    More: Cool, CEO, pre-eclampsia, federal benefits, premature birth  
•       •       •

16986 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2014 at 3:32 PM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



274 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-09 03:07:25 PM
Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.
 
2014-02-09 03:07:53 PM
How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?
 
2014-02-09 03:16:23 PM

snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.


I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.
 
2014-02-09 03:24:24 PM
"Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.
 
2014-02-09 03:25:48 PM
Let's hear it for the World's Greatest Nation, where your only purpose is to make profit for one company or another.

"Fark you if you get sick, and for Fark's sake don't you DARE have a baby prematurely. The cost of that would cut profits, if we didn't find the money by reducing the benefits package again.  What do you think insurance is for - YOU??  You selfish asshole who cost the insurance company money?  Just for that, we're taking out of everyone else's hide, too.  And we're going to make sure they know who is responsible."

The more I watch the happenings in the US, the more I like Canada.  Even if the shopping isn't as good.
 
2014-02-09 03:37:21 PM
What's AOL
 
2014-02-09 03:37:54 PM
Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.
 
2014-02-09 03:38:10 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.



Yeah, wow.

"Insurance did what it was supposed to, which became expensive, so we're dropping insurance.  Since it did what it was supposed to."
 
2014-02-09 03:38:46 PM

Huskadoodle: What's AOL



They make coasters, like a poor Pier 1 Import thing.
 
2014-02-09 03:39:32 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.


Came here to say this.

If the insurance company jacked up the rates based on exposure, it's the insurance company's fault. Why isn't the CEO blasting them? Also, the benefits manager sucks for not being able to negotiate better rates.

Guess it's just easier to blame the blah guy and his socialist healthcare.
 
2014-02-09 03:41:15 PM
Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.
 
2014-02-09 03:41:20 PM
The CEO failed to mention that his personal compensation jumped from $3 million to $12 million during the time when Obamacare supposedly cost them $7 million and two babies $1 million each. fark that guy. Seriously. He's disgusting.
 
2014-02-09 03:41:26 PM
I found one of those freebie Aol disks when I was cleaning out my desk at home the other day. They made good coasters.
 
2014-02-09 03:41:32 PM
What a farking scumbag.

AOL's total assets are almost $2.8 billion. Tim Armstrong's pay last year was  six times the cost of those two "distressed babies"  living.
 
2014-02-09 03:41:33 PM

AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.


And she will. Major healthcare privacy violation
 
2014-02-09 03:41:51 PM
www.1st-art-gallery.com
 
2014-02-09 03:43:32 PM
Distressed Babies is the name of my John Waite cover band........
 
2014-02-09 03:43:54 PM
Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.
 
2014-02-09 03:45:45 PM
Let's set aside the fact that Armstrong-who took home $12 million in pay in 2012-felt the need to announce a cut in employee benefits on the very day that he touted the best quarterly earnings in years.

How dare you peons not understand the pain of only bringing home $12 million for your family!  Why, if he hadn't cut all those benefits, he wouldn't be able to keep posting record profits for the company and then his family might suffer!  You goddamn well don't need those benefits as much as the company needs those profits so you should be ashamed of yourselves!  SHAME ON YOU!
 
2014-02-09 03:45:51 PM
I like her style.
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-02-09 03:46:06 PM
Dear Tim Armstrong: even if you're self-insuring your employees health care costs, you write a stop-loss policy for the small number of employees with catastrophic health care costs.  Usually it is because of cancer or auto accidents but your failure to do so is financial malfeasance.
 
2014-02-09 03:47:07 PM

Needlessly Complicated: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.

Came here to say this.

If the insurance company jacked up the rates based on exposure, it's the insurance company's fault. Why isn't the CEO blasting them? Also, the benefits manager sucks for not being able to negotiate better rates.

Guess it's just easier to blame the blah guy and his socialist healthcare.


Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures
 
2014-02-09 03:47:10 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.


This. Armstrong made $12 million in 2012. He could've paid $2 million out of his own pocket and barely felt it. How would that payout hurt the company's bottom line?

Also, isn't the employee health insurance risk pool bigger than just AOL employees? Or does working for AOL suck that bad that their employees suffer a disproportionately higher rate of health problems?
 
2014-02-09 03:49:46 PM
This just in: A lot of really wealthy people are sociopaths.
 
2014-02-09 03:50:41 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


The same way Fox News does... off old people who don't know any better.
 
2014-02-09 03:50:44 PM

foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.


You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.
 
2014-02-09 03:50:49 PM
So, AOL still sucks. This is news?
 
2014-02-09 03:51:49 PM

Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.


You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.
 
2014-02-09 03:52:13 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.


Yeah, he might just be able to rub his balls all over the office without consequence now.
 
2014-02-09 03:52:36 PM

gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures


What's the benefit of doing that?
 
2014-02-09 03:52:51 PM
Maybe the problem isn't douche CEO, maybe the problem is a bunch of morons that for some reason want to keep the only medical oligopoly in the developed world well fed.
 
2014-02-09 03:52:59 PM
Die you corporate farker, die.
 
2014-02-09 03:53:24 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.


Not to mention the only way he might avoid a privacy lawsuit is because the husband stays employed.
 
2014-02-09 03:53:29 PM

foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.


Yeah, after reading TFA, I couldn't help but wonder what his future at the company will be like.
I guess firing him would be really bad for public relations though.
 
2014-02-09 03:53:36 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.


Psychopath, Gangster, same-same.
 
2014-02-09 03:54:01 PM

Needlessly Complicated: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.

Came here to say this.

If the insurance company jacked up the rates based on exposure, it's the insurance company's fault. Why isn't the CEO blasting them? Also, the benefits manager sucks for not being able to negotiate better rates.

Guess it's just easier to blame the blah guy and his socialist healthcare.


For the longest time, there was a very creepy unwillingness on the part of a lot of people to blame insurers for health care costs. Granted, conservatives rounded up the usual suspects - generally the victims - though they tried to mitigate this by pointing fingers, Sutherland-like, at trial lawyers. But the meme was somehow apolitical - no one really asked why insurers charged so much, no one really asked why they provided so little. It took a long, long time before people started looking at the wealthy middlemen and gong "Hey wait a minute."

Politicians, you can sort of understand - insurers were shoveling money into their pockets as fast as they could print it, and they're awesome at turning a blind eye. But the general public somehow never picked up on who was screwing them.
 
2014-02-09 03:54:08 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: This. Armstrong made $12 million in 2012. He could've paid $2 million out of his own pocket and barely felt it. How would that payout hurt the company's bottom line?


If I pay 1 million for your broken baby, I better get to stick a dick in you.
 
2014-02-09 03:54:47 PM

austin_millbarge: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Not to mention the only way he might avoid a privacy lawsuit is because the husband stays employed.


Wait wait wait. I just realized something.

Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?
 
2014-02-09 03:55:51 PM

gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.


Companies can either take on the risk themselves or they can pay another company to take on the risk. That's what insurance is - risk management. They chose to take a risk by choosing to pay out on insurance hoping that the cost would be less than if they paid another company to take on the risk, saving them money. It sounds like that gamble didn't pay off. Sorry that their gamble didn't work out for them, but that's not a reason to cut back on benefits.

Armstrong can go fark himsefl.
 
2014-02-09 03:56:25 PM

Occam's Disposable Razor: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Yeah, he might just be able to rub his balls all over the office without consequence now.


They could retaliate by shipping him off to start the Somalia editorial office, though.
 
b3x
2014-02-09 03:58:46 PM
we were told at work that our health costs were going up, and coverage was going down (thanks obama care!) because my company is 95% women, and women go to the doctor too much. I work at a women's health facility. Kind of funny, isn't it?
 
2014-02-09 03:58:50 PM

gar1013: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.


Not saying I have a better system, just saying they'll do everything they can not to pay you - it's the necessity of the business. I work in healthcare, I've seen companies try to weasel out of paying for life saving cancer drugs. I'm not talking about stuff that grants an extra 6 months, I'm talking about stuff like Gleevec that can keep someone in remission and living a completely normal life potentially for decades. Patient has insurance, patient gets sicks, gets diagnosis, patient responds beautifully to treatment, insurance company tries to deny coverage. For literally the only disease the drug was developed and approved to treat. Absolute insanity.
 
2014-02-09 03:59:11 PM
Add Armstrong to the whiny 1%.

Good to hear that this "distressed baby" made it and will likely grow up, gradually losing any signs she was born premature.  At least, if my track record is anything to go on, she can.  .  I was born just a little under three pounds, blue as a smurf, with all sorts of complications that kept me in the neonatal ICU for a month and a half before my mother was allowed to touch me.  Thirty years on, I'm a healthy six-foot-tall weighing 175 pounds.  I maintain a physically active lifestyle and am on my way in the professional career of my choice.
 
2014-02-09 03:59:31 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Occam's Disposable Razor: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Yeah, he might just be able to rub his balls all over the office without consequence now.

They could retaliate by shipping him off to start the Somalia editorial office, though.


Won't someone rid me of this troublesome editor?
 
2014-02-09 04:00:25 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?


Cheaper for the company.

If you have enough capital, why pay to use the capital of the insurance company.
 
2014-02-09 04:00:39 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


They're primarily a media company, now.  They own The Huffington Post, Moviefone, Engadget, Patch, Stylelist, TechCrunch, MapQuest and Cambio among others.  As a small clue, the article mentions the author's husband is an editor with AOL.

Their current business model bears little resemblance to the business that made them a household name.
 
2014-02-09 04:00:44 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.

This. Armstrong made $12 million in 2012. He could've paid $2 million out of his own pocket and barely felt it. How would that payout hurt the company's bottom line?

Also, isn't the employee health insurance risk pool bigger than just AOL employees? Or does working for AOL suck that bad that their employees suffer a disproportionately higher rate of health problems?


As gar1013 points out, many large companies actually self-insure, paying out of pocket for healthcare costs.  When I worked for the state of Kansas, they did this as well.  The insurance company is really only responsible for negotiating rates and administering payments, but the actual cost for payouts comes from the company.  Or, as Wikipedia puts it:

"Employee benefits self-insurance programs are often underwritten by captive insurance companies formed, owned and managed by corporations in both on-shore and off-shore captive domiciles. The reason for this is that hundreds of thousands of employees constitute a large enough risk pool for the corporation to be able to predict and price the risk of losses from benefits offered to employees. In this way, corporations are able to manage their financial exposure to the self-insurance program without buying commercial insurance."
 
2014-02-09 04:00:57 PM
If he doesn't want to be responsible for employee health costs, maybe he should start lobbying for single payer.
 
2014-02-09 04:01:41 PM

b3x: we were told at work that our health costs were going up, and coverage was going down (thanks obama care!) because my company is 95% women, and women go to the doctor too much. I work at a women's health facility. Kind of funny, isn't it?


Not really, no.
 
2014-02-09 04:01:45 PM

gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures


I believe the term you're looking for is "gambling".  I can't imagine that even AOL has a large enough risk pool to make this feasible.
 
2014-02-09 04:03:07 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.


More likely the man is a sociopath at best, psychopath at worst. Why we let the most vile among us rule is beyond me. Its sad to me that the acquisition of wealth seems to have become the sole focus of human endeavors.

Science? Sure if it makes money. Dignity? Sure, if you have money. etc, etc.
 
2014-02-09 04:04:55 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

Companies can either take on the risk themselves or they can pay another company to take on the risk. That's what insurance is - risk management. They chose to take a risk by choosing to pay out on insurance hoping that the cost would be less than if they paid another company to take on the risk, saving them money. It sounds like that gamble didn't pay off. Sorry that their gamble didn't work out for them, but that's not a reason to cut back on benefits.

Armstrong can go fark himsefl.


While I don't agree with his reasoning, your logic is flawed.

If you think you're going to spend a certain amount on benefits, and then you spend more, why wouldn't you cut back? If it was YOUR money and you overspent one month, next month you trim the fat a bit.

They are supposed to be managing the company's finances with the same care as their own.

The cut is perfectly logical, but the messaging is wrong, and the math probably doesn't work out as a wash either.

This is coming from someone who has gotten farked on the benefits and compensation side of things for a few years in a row. Don't worry - once the job market improves, you'll see the pendulum swinging in the other direction.
 
2014-02-09 04:05:02 PM

Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.


I'm told that, via the magic of investments and interest rates, they could.
 
2014-02-09 04:05:11 PM

gar1013: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.


Yeah, a well run private insurance company like AIG can cover its losses just fine, as opposed by the fark-ups in the government - that had to come up with $85 billion to bail AIG out - huh?
 
2014-02-09 04:06:04 PM

The Dog Ate My Homework: This just in: A lot of really wealthy people are sociopaths.


In the prophetic words of Dickens, as adapted for film:

First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
First Collector: I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
Ebenezer: Why?
First Collector: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer: Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector: You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer: [firmly, but calmly] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector: Many can't go there.
Second Collector: And some would rather die.
Later that week Ebenezer apologized for "offending anyone" and restated that his considerable compensation was on paper and approved by the board for years before being called into question.
 
2014-02-09 04:07:27 PM
What the f*ck screwed up insurance did this company have?

My daughter was 9 weeks early. My wife spent two weeks in the hospital prior to the emergency C-section, and 9 weeks premature was scary as Hells, at 1lb 14oz at birth. She was in the NICU for two months, and my wife spent another two weeks in the hospital as well. We had a Blue Cross plan that never batted an eye, and even hooked us up with home health aids when she finally came home, along with the oxygen and the rest of the goodies the hospital wanted us to have on hand, just in case.

My employer was NOT on the scale of AOL--even today. The Iron Horse Entertainment Group is big for our area--four clubs, a ticket office that gives Ticketmaster a run for its money at least for shows in Western Mass, and two restaurants in the clubs--but it's not exactly a multi-million dollar sort of operation, and the employee pool is easily less than 100 folks for those who qualify for insurance in company. My wife's eclampsia and our daughter's extended stay at Bay State probably didn't make the folks at Blue Cross thrilled, but somehow we didn't see rises in our insurance costs. Yes, my wife and daughter's hospital bills were easily into the $750K range, and a bit more, and with our co-pay, it was $250 out of my pocket. Plus the loss of sleep, the worry, the gas in trips to Springfield while working and trying to see that the house was geared up for our daughter's homecoming, and the additional worry of getting paternity leave for when she came home.

If a small company like IHEG didn't have to drop its insurance or raise rates, or cut benefits, what kind of bullsh*t is this excuse? Really? Just admit: we don't like to cover people, so screwum, and screw their retirement, and screw all these folks, and I'mma blame anyone for the loss of revenue that we've been seeing because our organization is losing out to a lot of other folks, and I can't just admit that we haven't stayed competitive.

cman
--That wasn't a decision based in logic. It was a decision based on bullsh*t, unless AOL somehow managed to find an insurance provider that ONLY had AOL employees as their clients. It was a decision that was made to indeed boost profits, but he's just reaching for excuses at this point to justify it. He's just trying to spin, "Hey, if we don't do something fast, I may not make my quarterly bonus, because for damn sure my stocks ain't riding high nowadays..."
 
2014-02-09 04:07:43 PM

gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?

Cheaper for the company.

If you have enough capital, why pay to use the capital of the insurance company.


So that a couple of "distressed babies" don't put the hurt on your bottom line?
 
2014-02-09 04:07:48 PM
I hope this story is a lesson for all those whiny-assed people who complain about Obamacare on the grounds that, because they're in their twenties and healthy there is no need for them to have insurance coverage so why should they pay premiums to help some old fark with lung cancer or a gay with AIDS.  Remember, you can never count that your happy, uneventful life will continue and when you begin to rack up medical bills mandatory healthcare coverage will instantly become a blessing rather than an anchor around your neck.
 
2014-02-09 04:08:19 PM

GizmoToy: cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?

They're primarily a media company, now.  They own The Huffington Post, Moviefone, Engadget, Patch, Stylelist, TechCrunch, MapQuest and Cambio among others.  As a small clue, the article mentions the author's husband is an editor with AOL.

Their current business model bears little resemblance to the business that made them a household name.


In this case, her husband is the Executive Business Editor at Huffington Post. As in he's in the second cluster of their masthead. As in he runs a big chunk of the biggest name in AOL's content portfolio.

As in Tim Armstrong farked up unbelievably royal. Executive editor position isn't C-level, EiC, or managing editor, but it's the next rung or two down. It would have looked bad if Armstrong said this and the people in question were analysts, or associate editors, or designers, or any people in content production but near the bottom of the pyramid. This is Armstrong pulling a giant farking boner if this gets any significant traction.

Basically it's like the new CEO of Microsoft just said he cut benefits because a senior vice president of Skype had a sick infant.
 
2014-02-09 04:08:32 PM

ciberido: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

I'm told that, via the magic of investments and interest rates, they could.


Very true. I doubt these altruistic endeavors operating on such thin margins are common though.
 
2014-02-09 04:10:21 PM
Conundrum: Your business is no longer expanding, so your bonus size is determined by how much you can cut.

Solution: Cut your employee 401K, and take home a nice percent for yourself. And:

1) Blame Obamacare. When that doesn't work,
2) Blame a couple of premies.
 
2014-02-09 04:12:29 PM

netringer: gar1013: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.

Yeah, a well run private insurance company like AIG can cover its losses just fine, as opposed by the fark-ups in the government - that had to come up with $85 billion to bail AIG out - huh?


What typically happens is that the state department of insurance comes in, seizes the company, and appoints a receiver.

So yeah, if they were NY domiciled, then point the finger at the NY DOI. They could have come in at any time out a stop to things.
 
2014-02-09 04:13:25 PM
What I'm saying is Peter Goodman is high up enough at Huffington post that if he was dropped from his position "for cause" (and not simply shuffled around, taking a better offer somewhere else, the usual dance high-level editors do), completely apart from this Tim Armstrong thing, it would be a minor but noteworthy change in media circles. He's high up enough that if he got fired for a specific fark-up, my peers in the industry would hear about it. And this has become bad enough that if he got fired in the next year for  not a specific fark-up, it would basically be Armstrong's head.
 
2014-02-09 04:14:18 PM
You people disgust me. AOL's coasters are not even slightly good. They have a hole right in the middle, the condensation leaks right through and then you get water marks.

/lousy coasters
//just sayin'
 
2014-02-09 04:14:34 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?

Cheaper for the company.

If you have enough capital, why pay to use the capital of the insurance company.

So that a couple of "distressed babies" don't put the hurt on your bottom line?


Seriously?

Walk through what happens in the other scenario: health insurance company pays out additional claims, they raise rates. Company portion of your health insurance either goes up, or they pass it along to the employees.
 
2014-02-09 04:15:26 PM
Willful violations of HIPAA carry prison time.
 
2014-02-09 04:15:32 PM
So...  should I wish for AOL to die a painful death, or for it to continue paying her insurance premium? Because I'm willing either way.
 
2014-02-09 04:15:41 PM

Mercutio74: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

I believe the term you're looking for is "gambling".  I can't imagine that even AOL has a large enough risk pool to make this feasible.


Maybe, maybe not. I don't know their particulars, just that this is a practice that exists, and is used to justify all sorts of things.
 
2014-02-09 04:15:45 PM

DeaH: Conundrum: Your business is no longer expanding, so your bonus size is determined by how much you can cut.

Solution: Cut your employee 401K, and take home a nice percent for yourself. And:

1) Blame Obamacare. When that doesn't work,
2) Blame a couple of premies.

3) Whatever you do, don't blame your own greed or $12 million salary.

FTFY
 
2014-02-09 04:16:02 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


I had no idea it was still a thing.

Now, the question of whether we should keep barely viable preemies such as this one alive...because we can...should be, I think, open to discussion. It's far too early to call this one a win as the kid in the photos might have moderate to severe deficits only time will reveal. Frankly, for every "normal" kid born this early, there's probably another five who die, and three who are disabled in one way or another.

I speak as a father whose second child died in a miscarriage caused at five months gestation from my wife's burst appendix. I'm sad we lost the kid, but glad I didn't have to make the call...even with Canada's "free" healthcare...when the odds of an outcome that doesn't involve pain, institutionalization and an early death are so high.

But as for the douchebag CEO:

You agreed to pay.
You set up the plan.
Actuaries did the math to make the plan, presumably, untaxing on your revenues. And now you're biatching because people who bought in have suffered a medical tragedy?

Shut your farking greedy cakehole and pay, you mendacious coont. Count yourself lucky you aren't skullfarked in an uprising of the 99%

I also hope you have a crippling stroke and die alone and in your own shiat, unable to dial 911, but I wouldn't want to seem vindictive or anything.
 
2014-02-09 04:16:19 PM

gar1013: Seriously?

Walk through what happens in the other scenario: health insurance company pays out additional claims, they raise rates. Company portion of your health insurance either goes up, or they pass it along to the employees.


Assuming you're running the company as a human being who recognizes that other human beings work for you and you're not one of the computers in the Star Trek episode "A Taste of Armageddon," you deal with the former choice or apply the latter in a more subtle way that doesn't involve advertising a direct case of "This baby almost died and it's really expensive, so I cut their benefits."
 
2014-02-09 04:16:48 PM
Christ, what an A-OL.

/Surprised I'm the first.
//Unless I'm not.
 
2014-02-09 04:18:27 PM

Snarfangel: So...  should I wish for AOL to die a painful death, or for it to continue paying her insurance premium? Because I'm willing either way.


The latter. But wishing for Tim Armstrong to die a painful death would be a compromise?
 
2014-02-09 04:19:05 PM

Yogimus: Mitch Taylor's Bro: This. Armstrong made $12 million in 2012. He could've paid $2 million out of his own pocket and barely felt it. How would that payout hurt the company's bottom line?

If I pay 1 million for your broken baby, I better get to stick a dick in you.


This may be the most terrible thing I ever LOL'd at
 
2014-02-09 04:20:13 PM

Prey4reign: I hope this story is a lesson for all those whiny-assed people who complain about Obamacare on the grounds that, because they're in their twenties and healthy there is no need for them to have insurance coverage so why should they pay premiums to help some old fark with lung cancer or a gay with AIDS.  Remember, you can never count that your happy, uneventful life will continue and when you begin to rack up medical bills mandatory healthcare coverage will instantly become a blessing rather than an anchor around your neck.


Unfortunately, the statistics favor the whiny-assed twenty-somethings. Very few of them will experience the kind of huge health care crisis that will make them glad they have insurance. And they're still young enough to think they know everything.
 
2014-02-09 04:22:00 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


By diversifying, buying popular web sites and selling advertising through them. e.g Huffington Post
 
2014-02-09 04:22:34 PM

gar1013: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.


Wrong. Insurance companies can be profitable with combined ratios over 100% due to investment income. Insurance companies exist in essence to take your premium, invest it and hold off on paying claims as long as they can
 
2014-02-09 04:22:50 PM

Bloody William: What I'm saying is Peter Goodman is high up enough at Huffington post that if he was dropped from his position "for cause" (and not simply shuffled around, taking a better offer somewhere else, the usual dance high-level editors do), completely apart from this Tim Armstrong thing, it would be a minor but noteworthy change in media circles. He's high up enough that if he got fired for a specific fark-up, my peers in the industry would hear about it. And this has become bad enough that if he got fired in the next year for  not a specific fark-up, it would basically be Armstrong's head.


Things are gonna get interesting at AOL, I'm thinking.
 
2014-02-09 04:24:07 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


They own Huffington Post, Fark's best friend.
 
2014-02-09 04:24:31 PM
I actually read TFA and I don't get what she "said" to the CEO. It was more of an account of what she and her family went through.

That being said, FEDUCIARY DUTY. If you don't like it, behead a few CEOs. Otherwise STFU.
 
2014-02-09 04:24:35 PM

gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?

Cheaper for the company.

If you have enough capital, why pay to use the capital of the insurance company.

So that a couple of "distressed babies" don't put the hurt on your bottom line?

Seriously?

Walk through what happens in the other scenario: health insurance company pays out additional claims, they raise rates. Company portion of your health insurance either goes up, or they pass it along to the employees.


Exactly, then Armstrong says, "Hey, health care costs are going up, so we're cutting back." Employees grumble, maybe an article gets written about it in the business section if an editor actually goes through AOL's earnings report, but nothing of this scale get publicized.
 
2014-02-09 04:24:35 PM

Prey4reign: Add Armstrong to the whiny 1%.

Good to hear that this "distressed baby" made it and will likely grow up, gradually losing any signs she was born premature.  At least, if my track record is anything to go on, she can.  .  I was born just a little under three pounds, blue as a smurf, with all sorts of complications that kept me in the neonatal ICU for a month and a half before my mother was allowed to touch me.  Thirty years on, I'm a healthy six-foot-tall weighing 175 pounds.  I maintain a physically active lifestyle and am on my way in the professional career of my choice.


I'm also glad to hear she seems to be doing well.  She looks adorable.
 
2014-02-09 04:24:36 PM
What a selfish koont. She makes an emotional argument and doesn't see the big picture. The community as a whole is more important than the individual, especially a defective one who would have been eliminated out of the gene pool without special care. Because of her, the AOL executives won't be able to buy bigger boats this summer.
 
2014-02-09 04:25:09 PM
This is the guy that fired the guy on a company conference call last year in front of 1000 coworkers.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/listen-to-aol-ceo-tim-armstrong-fire-a -p atch-employee-in-front-of-1-000-coworkers-140600015.html
 
2014-02-09 04:25:38 PM
Even if AOL is self insured, and they likely are - AFAIK, they will buy an umbrella policy to cover them if they get more than some limit, say $25 million in claims in the year.

Besides what the ACA does change is that insurance can no longer have a cap, that could have been $1 million leaving this family bankrupt when the baby's bills exceeded the $1 million. There is a well-known less than middle-aged podcaster who suddenly had a stroke at dinner and had the cost of his medical care exceed the $1 million maximum.

Besides Armstrong needs to remember that the death panels were supposed to be for the elderly, not newborns.
 
2014-02-09 04:26:51 PM
Health care costs go up 30% a year.  You think this is about some CEO being an asshole?  Wake up
 
2014-02-09 04:27:22 PM
August 2013: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fires an employee live on a conference call.
January 2014: AOE CEO Tim Armstrong blames benefit cuts on two sick infants during a conference call.

Maybe this guy should rethink doing conference calls. Actually, no, maybe this guy needs to do  more conference calls.
 
2014-02-09 04:28:05 PM
When my second son was born he was premature and spent a bit over two weeks in the hospital, with an incubator, breathing support,feeding tube and all the rest. (Norfolk Sentara was awesome.) He's completely healthy today.

Because he was adopted, his bill was picked by Medi-cal. I have no idea what it cost since I never saw a bill for so much as a dime. I also didn't spend a single second fighting an insurance company about denying care.

Remember folks, government single payer health care is evil socialism. Don't let what happened to me and my son happen to the rest of the US.
 
2014-02-09 04:29:16 PM
If the cost of health is such a burden on companies as this stupid example illustrates, then I have to wonder why they're not lobbying HARD to introduce true universal health care, paid through income taxes.
 
2014-02-09 04:31:27 PM

Old Smokie: Health care costs go up 30% a year.  You think this is about some CEO being an asshole?  Wake up


Actually, what I think that most folks here think is that the CEO IS an asshat, and that the excuses for why he's an being forced to be an asshat are just his being modest for his natural talent. The fiduciary reasons are dubious at best, and he's looking to excuse his actions, by invoking "the market" when it comes down to a guy who seems to like to screw with folks to pad his own pockets, and shed any sort of blame for his innate dickishness.
 
2014-02-09 04:32:32 PM

drxym: If the cost of health is such a burden on companies as this stupid example illustrates, then I have to wonder why they're not lobbying HARD to introduce true universal health care, paid through income taxes.


Sure, that sounds like a great solution at first. But then you realize it's the first step on a slippery slope to CEOs making $12M a year  paying income taxes.
 
2014-02-09 04:34:25 PM
I had to skim after she described her daughter's skin at birth. I wouldn't wish any of that on my worst enemy.
 
2014-02-09 04:34:46 PM
Where's the point between miscarriage and premature birth? I'm left thinking "you had a miscarriage, but thanks to a firehose of money we managed to make it a baby".

Hey, at least this stimulated the economy.
 
2014-02-09 04:36:53 PM
Deanna Fei makes the perpetual Libtard fatal error in her reasoning: that AOL exists for her benefit.

Sorry, toots. You wanna whine, start your own company and cut the cord of dependency on others.
 
2014-02-09 04:37:10 PM
I thought they used all the old AOL CDs as cheap armor plate on some crap tanks the US exported to Paraguay. Maybe I misread the article.
 
2014-02-09 04:38:01 PM

wildcardjack: Where's the point between miscarriage and premature birth? I'm left thinking "you had a miscarriage, but thanks to a firehose of money we managed to make it a baby".

Hey, at least this stimulated the economy.


Somewhere around 24 weeks.
 
2014-02-09 04:38:45 PM
This isn't even the politics tab and Obamacare isn't in the headline. What's with all the trolls?
 
2014-02-09 04:39:00 PM

austin_millbarge: cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?

The same way Fox News does... off old people who don't know any better.



Must be a ton of old people out there watching Fox News. You must think old is 30+...
 
2014-02-09 04:40:09 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic.


That's how decisions should be made. No one gains when we are weighed down with appeals to pathos and the whaarble of emotional parents screaming "won't someone think of the children!"
 
2014-02-09 04:44:39 PM

b3x: we were told at work that our health costs were going up, and coverage was going down (thanks obama care!) because my company is 95% women, and women go to the doctor too much. I work at a women's health facility. Kind of funny, isn't it?


It is kinda funny, especially because it's bullshiat.

In 2014, insurers will no longer be able to charge women higher premiums than they charge men
 
2014-02-09 04:45:11 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?


You're not generating profit for an insurer. On the downside, in years where expenses are high, it can put strain on finances.
 
2014-02-09 04:45:17 PM

Rex_Everything: gar1013: Occam's Disposable Razor: Make no mistake, insurance of every kind exists to fark you. They don't turn a profit by paying out more than they take in.

You know what you call an insurance company that pays out more than it takes in?

Insolvent. Unable to pay claims.

Do you want to buy insurance, and then not have the company be able to make good on a claim?

The only type of insurance that doesn't face this risk is insurance from the government...and if you knew anything about the federal flood insurance program or the FHA, you'd know that they're both screwed up.

Wrong. Insurance companies can be profitable with combined ratios over 100% due to investment income. Insurance companies exist in essence to take your premium, invest it and hold off on paying claims as long as they can


You can't do that in the long run, especially with yields where they are.

Even worse is when you price at > 100% loss ratio. I've seen it first hand, and basically shook my head the entire time.
 
2014-02-09 04:46:48 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?

Cheaper for the company.

If you have enough capital, why pay to use the capital of the insurance company.

So that a couple of "distressed babies" don't put the hurt on your bottom line?

Seriously?

Walk through what happens in the other scenario: health insurance company pays out additional claims, they raise rates. Company portion of your health insurance either goes up, or they pass it along to the employees.

Exactly, then Armstrong says, "Hey, health care costs are going up, so we're cutting back." Employees grumble, maybe an article gets written about it in the business section if an editor actually goes through AOL's earnings report, but nothing of this scale get publicized.


Yup. Only issue here was that their PR or IR team didn't have a sniper with tranq darts on hand to take him out before he could finish his statement b
 
2014-02-09 04:47:02 PM
Hmmm, let's see... There are least three options to go with here...

1) The Constitution does not grant anybody the right to a pension, or to health insurance.

2) The Constitution does not mandate job creators to pay for their employees' defective offspring.  If God wanted that couple to have a healthy baby, He would have given them one. Those parents thwarted God's will, by spending a million dollars that wasn't theirs.  The Founding Fathers were all too familiar with infant mortality. This great nation was founded by great men who survived the harsh rigors of life in the colonies.  We've become too soft as a nation, with a sense of entitlement that all babies should live and thrive, no matter what the cost. We need a return to good old fashioned family values.

3) If all you bleeding hearts care so much for this baby, why aren't YOU donating some of your OWN money to pay for its million-dollar medical care, instead of picking a job creator's pocket? What's that? You don't know them personally? Well, neither does he! It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money!
 
2014-02-09 04:47:24 PM

semiotix: Sure, that sounds like a great solution at first. But then you realize it's the first step on a slippery slope to CEOs making $12M a year paying income taxes.


And sadly that's probably the truth.
 
2014-02-09 04:49:02 PM

GWSuperfan: b3x: we were told at work that our health costs were going up, and coverage was going down (thanks obama care!) because my company is 95% women, and women go to the doctor too much. I work at a women's health facility. Kind of funny, isn't it?

It is kinda funny, especially because it's bullshiat.

In 2014, insurers will no longer be able to charge women higher premiums than they charge men




You do realize the insurance companies just up the rates on both men and women.
 
2014-02-09 04:51:08 PM
Sounds like AOL wants to run it's own Death Panel.
 
2014-02-09 04:53:16 PM

b3x: we were told at work that our health costs were going up, and coverage was going down (thanks obama care!) because my company is 95% women, and women go to the doctor too much. I work at a women's health facility. Kind of funny, isn't it?


That means each one of you women goes to the doctor every working day! What the fark is wrong with you?????
 
2014-02-09 04:55:21 PM

That Guy Jeff: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic.

That's how decisions should be made. No one gains when we are weighed down with appeals to pathos and the whaarble of emotional parents screaming "won't someone think of the children!"


Except of course, it's a business decision that has Jesus involved, then it's just fine?

I hate to break this to the folks who think that business is JUST about the numbers, but the key to being a good manager, and steering a business well, is to pay attention to not just numbers, but people. Your customers, your employees, and more than just a cursory card at Christmas or a cute note on your birthday. Business has to do with personal relationships, because that's who you do business with. Your employees, your customers, and ignoring that portion of the equation, and ignoring the psychology of folks, and their reactions gets a ton of businesses in a lot of trouble every year. Beyond just the Nervous Nellies who point to the TV machine and wail about the chill'runs when there is a hint of boob, or who worry that the The Discovery Channel doesn't credit Jesus and Yahweh for the Big Bang. Market confidence, and reading trends has to involve understanding people. Real people. Not just imaginary ones, and understanding that all those trends involve upright apes that are huge balls of reactionary emotion and barely tamped down rage and fear machines fueled by glands and secretions triggered by words and images around them. And that people tend to talk, and that communication travels fair fast.
 
2014-02-09 05:00:43 PM
whatever happened to personal responsibility?  you broke it, you bought it.
 
2014-02-09 05:01:08 PM

Cyclometh: Willful violations of HIPAA carry prison time.


But in 99.9% of the cases the individual just gets fired.

But what he did wasn't a violation of HIPAA - but it was a violation of basic common sense.
 
2014-02-09 05:03:27 PM

Old Smokie: Health care costs go up 30% a year.  You think this is about some CEO being an asshole?  Wake up


They've been going down for a few years now. Or did you miss that memo?
 
2014-02-09 05:05:24 PM
Nice to see so much support for the mom in here rather than the usual Fark Neckbeardy "whargarbl, a kid cried on my plane once so let's voluntarily go extinct as a species because nobody will ever hump me anyway without cash up front" bullcrap.
 
2014-02-09 05:05:45 PM
My boss always said she couldn't afford our health insurance - single mom, one income, etc. Our basic plan is roughly $175/month out of pocket. It's not great coverage, but it's there. Then she ended up in the hospital with appendicitis and is looking at a $20k bill from her stay - and that was the "reduced" bill they ended up giving her. That's essentially ten years of paying into insurance right there.

I'd rather give up something else in my life (she's a smoker) for the guarantee that if something DOES happen to land me in the hospital, I won't have to sell a kidney to pay for it.

Fark all these companies saying they "can't afford insurance," all while raking in record profits and paying their CEO's millions and millions of dollars. Take care of your employees, FFS.
 
2014-02-09 05:09:34 PM
Well, I appreciate the CEO's honesty, but it's still a dick move.
 
2014-02-09 05:16:23 PM

Parthenogenetic: Hmmm, let's see... There are least three options to go with here...

1) The Constitution does not grant anybody the right to a pension, or to health insurance.

2) The Constitution does not mandate job creators to pay for their employees' defective offspring.  If God wanted that couple to have a healthy baby, He would have given them one. Those parents thwarted God's will, by spending a million dollars that wasn't theirs.  The Founding Fathers were all too familiar with infant mortality. This great nation was founded by great men who survived the harsh rigors of life in the colonies.  We've become too soft as a nation, with a sense of entitlement that all babies should live and thrive, no matter what the cost. We need a return to good old fashioned family values.

3) If all you bleeding hearts care so much for this baby, why aren't YOU donating some of your OWN money to pay for its million-dollar medical care, instead of picking a job creator's pocket? What's that? You don't know them personally? Well, neither does he! It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money!


Your point of view is shared by most if not all of the upper caste in America.
The logical extension is that fancy medical care is only for the rich caste.
Why should the lower caste pay for all that fancy medical research and high paid doctors?

Why pay for any of that fancy crap if only a select few can have it?

I am not rich, and even if i were;  when the Lord stops keeping my physical being together, i will not complain, nor will i allow myself to be cut up, experimented on, kept alive in a sterile room, etc.
I work until i drop, that is the Law of nature.
If the body begins to seriously malfunction, i fast.. and Pray.
10-20 days later the issue is resolved, one way or another.
Thats what normal, sensible animals do, and it has worked very well for millions of years.

All this quibbling and fighting over fancy healthcare, who deserves it & who doesn't, billionaires & other upper caste grasping, killing, stealing, robbing, struggling desperately for a few more bucks, etc makes me embarrassed that these humans are on the same planet as i am.

Enjoy your money, ye rich
ye can't have it in the afterlife
where the worm dieth not
 and neither can ye
 
2014-02-09 05:16:30 PM
What?  He should have lied?

Where's the money coming from?

Somebody's gotta pay.

I wonder what really happened.

I wonder why they charged her $1 million.
 
2014-02-09 05:18:21 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.


You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.
 
2014-02-09 05:20:20 PM
What's the big deal? She can just get Obamacare
 
2014-02-09 05:20:56 PM

gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.


And beware--that means that if your employer goes under the bills go unpaid.
 
2014-02-09 05:20:57 PM
Hippocratic oath
is Hypocritical
 
2014-02-09 05:22:42 PM

jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.


We can both be right. The decision was made logically, but the way that he executed it was emotional.
 
2014-02-09 05:23:00 PM

Testiclaw: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.


Yeah, wow.

"Insurance did what it was supposed to, which became expensive, so we're dropping insurance.  Since it did what it was supposed to."


The insurance basically distributes risk and cost.  It did what it was supposed to, but the atypical costs (the two high cost patients) changed the amount of risk to be distributed which meant that more money had to be recovered (especially if they were self insured).  Even if you are insured, there bills still need to be paid, and that has to come from somewhere.  He decided that it would come from the 401(k) plan, which basically likely means that he lowered the discretionary match.

The argument isn't 'OMG Insurance is magic, he is making up excuses to reduce benefits'.  The argument should be 'Is a company that values making market expectations of earnings over employee benefits and retention sustainable over the long run'  Unfortunately, history has usually proven the former to be true.

And yes, the company prioritizes making money.  This is why companies form.  This is why investors invest in them.  It is hopelessly naive to think that publicly traded companies should be in business for any other reason than to maximize profit.  That doesn't mean you have to use slash and burn tactics with your employees, several highly profitable companies treat their employees well.  But it is silly to think that any public company is going to act without considering its bottom line.
 
2014-02-09 05:25:06 PM

jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.


So much this.
 
2014-02-09 05:25:14 PM

Parthenogenetic: Hmmm, let's see... There are least three options to go with here...

1) The Constitution does not grant anybody the right to a pension, or to health insurance.

2) The Constitution does not mandate job creators to pay for their employees' defective offspring.  If God wanted that couple to have a healthy baby, He would have given them one. Those parents thwarted God's will, by spending a million dollars that wasn't theirs.  The Founding Fathers were all too familiar with infant mortality. This great nation was founded by great men who survived the harsh rigors of life in the colonies.  We've become too soft as a nation, with a sense of entitlement that all babies should live and thrive, no matter what the cost. We need a return to good old fashioned family values.

3) If all you bleeding hearts care so much for this baby, why aren't YOU donating some of your OWN money to pay for its million-dollar medical care, instead of picking a job creator's pocket? What's that? You don't know them personally? Well, neither does he! It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money!


Anything to cover for this emotional, babyish, spoiled child's obnoxious public behavior, eh?
I'm sure all three of AOL's remaining shareholders are really excited about all the great publicity he has brought to their already shaky company. None of the stuff you just said even relates to this issue - it's a huge red herring, apparently intended to distract from the fact that this man publicly made a fool of himself and his company.
Right wing ideological rants don't excuse incompetence and immaturity.
 
2014-02-09 05:26:13 PM

Urinal Cake Mix: My boss always said she couldn't afford our health insurance - single mom, one income, etc. Our basic plan is roughly $175/month out of pocket. It's not great coverage, but it's there. Then she ended up in the hospital with appendicitis and is looking at a $20k bill from her stay - and that was the "reduced" bill they ended up giving her. That's essentially ten years of paying into insurance right there.

I'd rather give up something else in my life (she's a smoker) for the guarantee that if something DOES happen to land me in the hospital, I won't have to sell a kidney to pay for it.

Fark all these companies saying they "can't afford insurance," all while raking in record profits and paying their CEO's millions and millions of dollars. Take care of your employees, FFS.


1) in most states (all of them now that the ACA is in effect) it is possible to get catastrophic coverage without having to go through an employer.
2) In companies above a certain size (I believe it is 50 but am not sure), they are required to offer insurance.  So, any company offering CEO's millions of dollars and booking record profits is almost definitely providing insurance
 
2014-02-09 05:27:37 PM
OK, so here's some research I've done and why I think Tom Armstrong is or should be in a lot of trouble for violation of the Health Insuarnce Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

HIPAA is a complex regulation, but is not hard to understand if you spend a couple of minutes learning some basics.

The first thing to understand is that HIPAA is broken into two parts- the "Security Rule" and the "Privacy Rule". We're only interested in the Privacy Rule here. The Security Rule covers things like how electronic data is stored, what safeguards there are against its being disclosed, and regulations for who can access electronic health care data (in point of fact, for Tom Armstrong to be aware of such specifics, there had to be one or more violations of the Security Rule, but let's just stick to the Privacy Rule for now).

For most of this, I'll be referring to this document:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/combined/hipaa-s im plification-201303.pdf

That is is an "Administrative Simplification" of the HIPAA requirements, boiling it all down into one document instead of requiring you to trawl through the CFR, the HIPAA text itself (laws are different than the regulations they create) and other such mind-numbing tasks.

Anayway, the big question we have to answer: Is AOL and its staff subject to HIPAA?

HIPAA is only applicable to "covered entities", which are enumerated in the regulations (see § 160.102 and § 160.103)

AOL self-insures, making it a "health care provider" under the regulation. It might be a "hybrid entity" because it also does non-healthcare stuff. But either way the Privacy Rule applies.
Here's a summary of the "Privacy Rule":

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.htm l

Here's a set of flowcharts for easy determination of whether a business is a "covered entity".

http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/HIPAA-Administrative-Sim pl ification/HIPAAGenInfo/Downloads/CoveredEntitycharts.pdf

In conclusion: Yes, AOL is a "covered entity", making it subject to HIPAA requirements.

So, if AOL is subject to HIPAA, did Tom Armstrong violate any of its provisions?

We have to ask if the information in question was "protected health information" (PHI). PHI means all "individually identifiable" information that is "held or transmitted" by a covered entity or business associate. Specifically, it includes, but isn't limited to:

* The individual's past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
* The provision of health care to the individual, or
* The past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,
* and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.

Given what Armstrong said, and the paucity of people to whom his statements could apply, it's quite clear that the information about this woman and her child was indeed PHI.

CFR 45 § 164.502 states that: "A covered entity or business associate may not use or disclose protected health information, except as permitted or required by this subpart or by subpart C of part 160 of this subchapter." Uses permitted or required are to allow for healthcare decisions and support. What Armstrong said was specifically NOT a legitimate disclosure.

Potential Outcomes

So now that we know that Armstrong did violate the Privacy Rule (and it looks like his organization violated the hell out of the Security Rule, because the CEO never needed to see PHI to do his work at AOL, which is a GLARING violation of the rule), what is the potential outcome?

There's a couple. HIPAA only identifies civil monetary penalties within the privacy and security rules, but those penalties can be excessive- millions of dollars. And HHS has been getting tougher of late.

However, I'd like to call your attention to a fun little section of the US Code. Specifically US Code § 1320d-6 - Wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1320d-6

If someone knowingly "discloses indivdiudally identifiable health information to another person", they're subject to criminal penalties. Those include fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to ten years, depending on the severity of the violation and whether it was done with intent to gain commercial advantage.


So, in conclusion: WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS GUY IN JAIL YET?
 
2014-02-09 05:29:08 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


Old people.
 
2014-02-09 05:29:27 PM

cman: jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.

We can both be right. The decision was made logically, but the way that he executed it was emotional.


We aren't talking about any substantive "decision" - we are talking about his public statement.
He should have said nothing, and if he had to mouth off, he should have said anything else but what he did.
So yeah -we can both be right, but I am the only one discussing the actual subject.
 
2014-02-09 05:29:35 PM

jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.


In a company the size of AOL, it is unlikely that the vast majority of people knew about the people involved.  And if you have ever talked to anyone in HR and benefits, it is not an emotional or nasty thing to understand that certain medical conditions, and certain populations, have a higher cost that must be accounted for.  I do wonder, however, if in a population of 5,600, if 2 to 4 million of cost really bent the curve that much
 
2014-02-09 05:30:11 PM
Er, I meant "Tim Armstrong", my bad.
 
2014-02-09 05:30:28 PM

Needlessly Complicated: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.

Came here to say this.

If the insurance company jacked up the rates based on exposure, it's the insurance company's fault. Why isn't the CEO blasting them? Also, the benefits manager sucks for not being able to negotiate better rates.

Guess it's just easier to blame the blah guy and his socialist healthcare.


And it sounds like the rates were jacked up by two million dollars. I wonder what the  the actual increase was. (AOL has 5,600 employees and I would imagine not all of them have insurance through AOL)
 
2014-02-09 05:30:59 PM

Huskadoodle: What's AOL


http://netscape.aol.com

/I'm not bitter

//yes I am

///former NCSP employee
 
2014-02-09 05:31:36 PM
Single. Payer. No, it's not socialism. Want a nice house and a fancy car and a vacation in Mexico, that's on you. But we could go to a Single payer for the cost of a slight trim in the already excessive military budget.
 
2014-02-09 05:33:30 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.


There are some pretty interesting studies and ideas out there that say that most people can only care personally for about 100 to 120 people.  One theory is that this is roughly the size of 4 generations of people from one source, a typical village\tribal social unit.  You are correct that to the CEO, the two distressed babies are just numbers on a ledger.  This does not make him good or bad, just human.  I type this right now knowing, like all of you, that there are starving children across the globe, yet I am not doing anything about it (nor are most of you).  Doesn't make us bad people, they just are not close enough to us to mean anything beyond the abstract
 
2014-02-09 05:33:53 PM

jso2897: cman: jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.

We can both be right. The decision was made logically, but the way that he executed it was emotional.

We aren't talking about any substantive "decision" - we are talking about his public statement.
He should have said nothing, and if he had to mouth off, he should have said anything else but what he did.
So yeah -we can both be right, but I am the only one discussing the actual subject.


What I am saying is that as a CEO he looked at the numbers. Emotion never came into account when he looked for cuts.

When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.
 
2014-02-09 05:34:32 PM

MycroftHolmes: jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.

In a company the size of AOL, it is unlikely that the vast majority of people knew about the people involved.  And if you have ever talked to anyone in HR and benefits, it is not an emotional or nasty thing to understand that certain medical conditions, and certain populations, have a higher cost that must be accounted for.  I do wonder, however, if in a population of 5,600, if 2 to 4 million of cost really bent the curve that much


So you are actually defending this? Wow.
I don't see why he had any necessity to do this - it was a slap at his own employees, and the identity of the employees whose HIIPA info he publicly discussed were, as a matter of truth and fact, quickly exposed and subject to interrogation by fellow employees.
What business purpose did his little speech serve?
 
2014-02-09 05:37:09 PM

MycroftHolmes: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

There are some pretty interesting studies and ideas out there that say that most people can only care personally for about 100 to 120 people.  One theory is that this is roughly the size of 4 generations of people from one source, a typical village\tribal social unit.  You are correct that to the CEO, the two distressed babies are just numbers on a ledger.  This does not make him good or bad, just human.  I type this right now knowing, like all of you, that there are starving children across the globe, yet I am not doing anything about it (nor are most of you).  Doesn't make us bad people, they just are not close enough to us to mean anything beyond the abstract


The issue of whether this guy is a "bad person" is utterly ephemeral, and utterly beside the point. The point is, he is a dick, and a crappy spokesman for his company, having brought unnecessary negative attention upon it for his own personal petulance.
 
2014-02-09 05:38:18 PM

cman: When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.


Right - and that is all that I am discussing here - nothing else.
 
2014-02-09 05:38:45 PM
Nothing like creating that hostile work environment by telling the whole world that Bob and his brat are the reason their retirement is tanked.
 
2014-02-09 05:41:12 PM
OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous, but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million? Else what the hell is the point of having insurance?

And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system? What?
 
2014-02-09 05:42:10 PM

jso2897: cman: When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.

Right - and that is all that I am discussing here - nothing else.


Ok, but what does that have to do with gangsters? If you were to read the comment I originally replied to (that started this conversation), you will see it was in a different context.
 
2014-02-09 05:43:15 PM
Just to be clear - the actual executive decision this guy made was unpopular, but i don't know enough to say categorically that it was a good or a bad one.
i do know that his "little speech" was utterly unnecessary, petulant, mean, and childish - and has had repercussions for the peope he targeted.
Let's do the list:
Mean and petulant? Check.
Serving no business purpose? Check.
Hramful to his company's public image? Check?
Possibly resulting in legal action? Check.

A huge wad of fail - and lolbertarian rants provide no defense for it whatsoever.
 
2014-02-09 05:44:18 PM

gadian: Nothing like creating that hostile work environment by telling the whole world that Bob and his brat are the reason their retirement is tanked.


Yeah. It's a little surprising that AOL's lawyers didn't show up at the affected employees' doors the next morning with sacks of cash and nondisclosure agreements. (Probably because AOL can't afford proactive lawyers anymore.) But they'll sure as hell be doing it now.
 
2014-02-09 05:45:33 PM

cman: jso2897: cman: When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.

Right - and that is all that I am discussing here - nothing else.

Ok, but what does that have to do with gangsters? If you were to read the comment I originally replied to (that started this conversation), you will see it was in a different context.


Now you've lost me - but if you say so. I was just arguing with that one statement - not trying to say you were a jerk to make it. You are not the asshole here, buddy, or me either.
 
2014-02-09 05:45:59 PM
The same year that distressed baby cost the company $3 million, the CEO cost AOL nine extra million dollars, for a total of 12, as he got a 300% raise from his former salary of $3 million the year before.  Decking sociopath
 
2014-02-09 05:47:11 PM

cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.


No, it's an even more insidious issue than that. The wealthy are totally divorced from reality and are no longer trying to operate profitable businesses for everyone's benefit (stockholders, employees, etc.). They now take home ever more exaggerated sums each year, which has a material effect on company healthy. Notice that he said just two babies with $1 million of health care costs were enough to make him change the benefits package for all of the employees in the ENTIRE COMPANY. Meanwhile, he personally took home $12 million just himself - and I'd be awful surprised if that was the sum and total of his entire compensation plan... And adding up the other executives you would no doubt have a veritable cash mountain...

But yeah, it's those TWO babies that were the fault, even though the company pulled in increased profits despite them and they were able to reinstate the plans without any problems once it blew up in their faces... Could he not run AOL for $2 million a year? $5 million? No, it has to be $12 million, to the point where executive costs have gotten so out of control that they choose between employee benefits, and profitability just to hoard ever more obscene sacks of wealth.

The problem is that we have a cultural problem of our wealthiest treating the rest of society as their personal slush funds and too many people being brainwashed by flawed right-wing ideology who enable them.
 
2014-02-09 05:48:22 PM

Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous, but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million? Else what the hell is the point of having insurance?

And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system? What?


The man is a pathological liar. I assume that concept is fairly well understood on your side of the pond.
 
2014-02-09 05:49:54 PM

Parthenogenetic: The Constitution does not grant anybody the right to a pension


So why is Mr. Armstrong insisting upon his?
 
2014-02-09 05:50:08 PM

jso2897: cman: jso2897: cman: When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.

Right - and that is all that I am discussing here - nothing else.

Ok, but what does that have to do with gangsters? If you were to read the comment I originally replied to (that started this conversation), you will see it was in a different context.

Now you've lost me - but if you say so. I was just arguing with that one statement - not trying to say you were a jerk to make it. You are not the asshole here, buddy, or me either.


Well I am too damn sober to be debating to begin with
 
2014-02-09 05:51:27 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.


note how he leaves out that he gave himself a 300% pay raise (to 12 Million/ year) in 2012... I'm sure he just forgot.
 
2014-02-09 05:52:07 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: Parthenogenetic: The Constitution does not grant anybody the right to a pension

So why is Mr. Armstrong insisting upon his?


Because contacts and commitments don't exist. The only rights any person may possess are those that passionate area men think are in the Constitution. I guess. i don't even know what these people are talking about anymore.
 
2014-02-09 05:52:08 PM

Bungles: but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million?


They're self-insured. Which is usually a good option if you can afford it (regardless of what's being insured) but a terrible idea if you can't, and if you're complaining about individual babies, you couldn't have afforded it.

Bungles: And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system?


AOL ain't so massive these days.

Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous,


Many things are baffling and ridiculous. Health care in America is one of the rare non-British examples. I've watched a cricket match... I think.
 
2014-02-09 05:53:30 PM

liltingbanshee: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

Yeah, after reading TFA, I couldn't help but wonder what his future at the company will be like.
I guess firing him would be really bad for public relations though.


Tim Armstrong is the asshole who fired one of his employees for using a camera in one of his annual.  It was the guy's job, wait for it, to take pictures of people from the company giving speeches, to put on the internal website.  He fired a guy for doing his job.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/listen-to-aol-ceo-tim-armstrong-fire-a -p atch-employee-in-front-of-1-000-coworkers-140600015.html
 
2014-02-09 05:53:43 PM

DeaH: Conundrum: Your business is no longer expanding, so your bonus size is determined by how much you can cut.

Solution: Cut your employee 401K, and take home a nice percent for yourself. And:

1) Blame Obamacare. When that doesn't work,
2) Blame a couple of premies.


Conundrum: Your business' profits rose by 13% last year

Solution: give yourself a 300% raise, slash employee benefits, blame Obamacare and premies anyways.
 
2014-02-09 05:53:52 PM

cman: jso2897: cman: jso2897: cman: When he was called out on his decision he went apeshiat. Thats when the emotion part kicked in. He became an asshole of epic proportions.

Right - and that is all that I am discussing here - nothing else.

Ok, but what does that have to do with gangsters? If you were to read the comment I originally replied to (that started this conversation), you will see it was in a different context.

Now you've lost me - but if you say so. I was just arguing with that one statement - not trying to say you were a jerk to make it. You are not the asshole here, buddy, or me either.

Well I am too damn sober to be debating to begin with


I'm not too far from there myself, albeit on a somewhat more herbal, less fermented basis. We should probably quit before we confuse each other.
 
2014-02-09 05:55:15 PM

Valiente: cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?

I had no idea it was still a thing.

Now, the question of whether we should keep barely viable preemies such as this one alive...because we can...should be, I think, open to discussion. It's far too early to call this one a win as the kid in the photos might have moderate to severe deficits only time will reveal. Frankly, for every "normal" kid born this early, there's probably another five who die, and three who are disabled in one way or another.

I speak as a father whose second child died in a miscarriage caused at five months gestation from my wife's burst appendix. I'm sad we lost the kid, but glad I didn't have to make the call...even with Canada's "free" healthcare...when the odds of an outcome that doesn't involve pain, institutionalization and an early death are so high.

But as for the douchebag CEO:

You agreed to pay.
You set up the plan.
Actuaries did the math to make the plan, presumably, untaxing on your revenues. And now you're biatching because people who bought in have suffered a medical tragedy?

Shut your farking greedy cakehole and pay, you mendacious coont. Count yourself lucky you aren't skullfarked in an uprising of the 99%

I also hope you have a crippling stroke and die alone and in your own shiat, unable to dial 911, but I wouldn't want to seem vindictive or anything.


There it is. "Kill all the sub par humans"

I was waiting for one of you to show up.
 
2014-02-09 05:55:18 PM

jso2897: Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous, but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million? Else what the hell is the point of having insurance?

And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system? What?

The man is a pathological liar. I assume that concept is fairly well understood on your side of the pond.


It is not lying to him.
He only respects and recognizes his own gang. You, as Not Gang are not entitled to any farking thing, ever.
You are not entitled to the truth.
You can't handle the truth.
You are only a food source.

If that is somehow confused with "logic", I pity you.
 
2014-02-09 05:55:41 PM

firefly212: DeaH: Conundrum: Your business is no longer expanding, so your bonus size is determined by how much you can cut.

Solution: Cut your employee 401K, and take home a nice percent for yourself. And:

1) Blame Obamacare. When that doesn't work,
2) Blame a couple of premies.

Conundrum: Your business' profits rose by 13% last year due mainly  to the work of your predecessors.

Solution: give yourself a 300% raise, slash employee benefits, blame Obamacare and premies anyways.



FTFY.
 
2014-02-09 05:57:34 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?


Insurance works because an insurance company collects more in premiums than it pays in claims. If your risk pool (number of employees) is large enough, the averages work out in your favor. (You're your own insurance company and you pocket the "profit", essentially.)
 
2014-02-09 05:59:53 PM

snocone: jso2897: Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous, but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million? Else what the hell is the point of having insurance?

And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system? What?

The man is a pathological liar. I assume that concept is fairly well understood on your side of the pond.

It is not lying to him.
He only respects and recognizes his own gang. You, as Not Gang are not entitled to any farking thing, ever.
You are not entitled to the truth.
You can't handle the truth.
You are only a food source.

If that is somehow confused with "logic", I pity you.


Hey, don't look at me. I'm not the one confusing it with logic - that's his white knights.
I think him a fool and a loser.
Prediction - his career at AOL will end in shame, soon, and he'll walk away with a huge chunk of what is left of their once massive, now almost gone pile of cash. To complement the huge chunk they'll have to pay out to the employees who were publicly exposed with their own HIIPA information.
 
2014-02-09 06:04:46 PM

groppet: I found one of those freebie Aol disks when I was cleaning out my desk at home the other day. They made good coasters.


My neighbor cut up hundreds of them to make an immense mirror ball. Good times!
 
2014-02-09 06:05:20 PM

semiotix: Bungles: but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million?

They're self-insured. Which is usually a good option if you can afford it (regardless of what's being insured) but a terrible idea if you can't, and if you're complaining about individual babies, you couldn't have afforded it.

Bungles: And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system?

AOL ain't so massive these days.

Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous,

Many things are baffling and ridiculous. Health care in America is one of the rare non-British examples. I've watched a cricket match... I think.


But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?
 
2014-02-09 06:05:27 PM
BTW- white knights: Do you think this guy is "doing a good job", and that AOL is "doing well"?
What AOL is doing is selling off patents and other assets for operating cash - the equivalent of busting up the train cars and stuffing the wood into the boiler to keep the locomotive going.
Just another corporate looter - not leader.
 
2014-02-09 06:06:25 PM
I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.
 
2014-02-09 06:07:41 PM

Bungles: semiotix: Bungles: but how is AOL out of pocket by $1 million? Isn't the insurance company out a million?

They're self-insured. Which is usually a good option if you can afford it (regardless of what's being insured) but a terrible idea if you can't, and if you're complaining about individual babies, you couldn't have afforded it.

Bungles: And how does a million make any sort of impact on a massive company's entire retirement system?

AOL ain't so massive these days.

Bungles: OK, I'm British so I find your entire system baffling and ridiculous,

Many things are baffling and ridiculous. Health care in America is one of the rare non-British examples. I've watched a cricket match... I think.

But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?


It may very well develop that it isn't.
This asshole has already got his company in civil trouble - is criminal trouble that far away?
 
2014-02-09 06:09:34 PM

dababler: I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.


That was then. This is now.
 
2014-02-09 06:12:20 PM

Cyclometh: So, in conclusion: WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS GUY IN JAIL YET?


You must have missed the part that said he makes $12MM a year.  Laws don't apply to people with money.
 
2014-02-09 06:13:54 PM

jso2897: dababler: I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.

That was then. This is now.


Still. It is sad that "chatrooms" have all but vanished.
 
2014-02-09 06:14:07 PM

dababler: I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.


There's always this opera. The opera is called Two Boys, and they have an interesting way of showing chartrooms.
 
2014-02-09 06:14:50 PM
Abortion is illegal EXCEPT in the case when it will save a company money on insurance benefits.

/soon to be on a GOP idea notebook
 
2014-02-09 06:15:12 PM

jso2897: dababler: I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.

That was then. This is now.


pfft, that was nothing.

I was there for that heyday, but from what I have read, AOL connecting to USENET pretty much began its death as the place to be.
 
2014-02-09 06:15:48 PM

cman: jso2897: dababler: I feel sad that the current generation will never experience anything remotely as active as AOL's chat-rooms during it's heyday.  In retrospect it really was a unique and fascinating way of communicating.

That was then. This is now.

pfft, that was nothing.

I was there for that heyday, but from what I have read as I was not there, AOL connecting to USENET pretty much began its death as the place to be.


Whoops. Fixt.
 
2014-02-09 06:16:35 PM

Occam's Disposable Razor: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Yeah, he might just be able to rub his balls all over the office without consequence now.


I think I know a few guys who'd be willing to have a distressed baby for this perk alone.
 
2014-02-09 06:27:03 PM
Came for the RIP Lance Armstrong meme
You know the rest....
 
2014-02-09 06:27:36 PM

Ernest T Bass: Cyclometh: So, in conclusion: WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS GUY IN JAIL YET?

You must have missed the part that said he makes $12MM a year.  Laws don't apply to people with money.


That law may not apply to people with money,  But since the "alleged" violation of that law was done as an excuse to modify financial practices of a publicly traded company.   Why aren't the IRS (for the 401k changes) and the SEC (for Sarbanes Oxley complaince) both warming their hands to go over this companies books with the proverbial fine toothed comb?

And like HIPAA, breaking SOX compliance can (but probably won't) also result in Criminal and Civil charges.
 
2014-02-09 06:28:50 PM

Bloody William: Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?


He didn't have to know anything, he probably pulled that out of his ass like the Obamacare stuff. It was probably supposed to be a way to keep the employees from biatching because nobody would want to be that guy and make a fuss. But go figure, a person like that actually exists, thought he was talking about her, and, in true modern attention-whore-mommy-blogger style, outed herself.
 
2014-02-09 06:29:26 PM
A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.
 
2014-02-09 06:31:28 PM

Fear the Clam: Bloody William: Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?

He didn't have to know anything, he probably pulled that out of his ass like the Obamacare stuff. It was probably supposed to be a way to keep the employees from biatching because nobody would want to be that guy and make a fuss. But go figure, a person like that actually exists, thought he was talking about her, and, in true modern attention-whore-mommy-blogger style, outed herself.


Actually, her husband's colleagues had figured out who they were before the article was written, but nice try.
Lawsuit like the fist of an angry god in 3-2-1.........
 
2014-02-09 06:31:34 PM

jso2897: A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.


People are gonna push you around. Eventually people have to stand up. Management has all the power. This has resulted in income inequality the likes that our nation has never seen. The lack of labor power is why our economy is shiat, because wages havent risen. You cant grow without growth.
 
2014-02-09 06:32:14 PM

Cyclometh: OK, so here's some research I've done and why I think Tom Armstrong is or should be in a lot of trouble for violation of the Health Insuarnce Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

HIPAA is a complex regulation, but is not hard to understand if you spend a couple of minutes learning some basics.
 ...


Thank you for this.  I assumed he was violating HIPAA as well, but didn't do the research
 
2014-02-09 06:32:31 PM
With comments like this, you have to wonder why we decided to double down on employer provided health care under the ACA.
 
2014-02-09 06:33:00 PM

Bungles: But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?


That's precisely what Reinsurance is for.  A company that has over 500 employees is generally financially able (legally) to cover their own insurance.  But as a duty to their fiduciaries, they also have Reinsurance, which covers exactly the sort of catastrophe that AOL experienced.  I know this because I've been in healthcare for the last 20 years, and my company literally "forgot" to buy reinsurance a few years ago, costing the company's plan $4 million one year, which they wouldn't have ordinarily had to pay.  And my company had less than a thousand employees at the time.  If AOL didn't have reinsurance, whomever made that decision should be fired.  It's a common and expected practice.
 
2014-02-09 06:33:02 PM

The Dog Ate My Homework: This just in: A lot of really wealthy people are sociopaths.


You don't say?
 
2014-02-09 06:34:05 PM

cman: jso2897: A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.

People are gonna push you around. Eventually people have to stand up. Management has all the power. This has resulted in income inequality the likes that our nation has never seen. The lack of labor power is why our economy is shiat, because wages havent risen. You cant grow without growth.


Oh, I know - I was speaking tongue in cheek.
So to speak.
 
2014-02-09 06:34:41 PM

Bungles: But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?


It does seem to have been a very poor business decision, which may account for why this genius is trying to shift the blame onto those goddamn babies.

It's legal because companies larger than a certain size are required to (and have long been  expectedto) provide health insurance for their employees, but there is no law saying a company must never fail, fold, or go bankrupt. I don't know about AOL's situation specifically, but self-insurance as a rule is fairly carefully regulated, and they probably had to sock away a fair amount of money to be permitted to do it.
 
2014-02-09 06:36:20 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

Companies can either take on the risk themselves or they can pay another company to take on the risk. That's what insurance is - risk management. They chose to take a risk by choosing to pay out on insurance hoping that the cost would be less than if they paid another company to take on the risk, saving them money. It sounds like that gamble didn't pay off. Sorry that their gamble didn't work out for them, but that's not a reason to cut back on benefits.

Armstrong can go fark himsefl.


That gamble still pays off unless they suck at negotiating payments.

They'll make up for it next year. Or.. They could make up for it by cutting coverage. There's always that.

/oh.. wait..
 
2014-02-09 06:36:31 PM

jso2897: cman: jso2897: A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.

People are gonna push you around. Eventually people have to stand up. Management has all the power. This has resulted in income inequality the likes that our nation has never seen. The lack of labor power is why our economy is shiat, because wages havent risen. You cant grow without growth.

Oh, I know - I was speaking tongue in cheek.
So to speak.


I am a free-market guy, but I am not blind to what is wrong with our economic troubles. You cant tax cut your way out of this. Wages need to ruse.
 
2014-02-09 06:40:51 PM

cman: jso2897: cman: jso2897: A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.

People are gonna push you around. Eventually people have to stand up. Management has all the power. This has resulted in income inequality the likes that our nation has never seen. The lack of labor power is why our economy is shiat, because wages havent risen. You cant grow without growth.

Oh, I know - I was speaking tongue in cheek.
So to speak.

I am a free-market guy, but I am not blind to what is wrong with our economic troubles. You cant tax cut your way out of this. Wages need to ruse.


Yes, I am aware that there are conservatively inclined people who can still do simple arithmetic. the fact that I feel moved to complement you for it speaks volumes about the state of contemporary "consrvatism", if you can even call it that. This guy sure as shiat wouldn't:
i18.photobucket.com
I only hope that here is no afterlife. I don't care to think of this good and brave man looking down on what his party and his country have become.
 
2014-02-09 06:46:36 PM
you people can keep your distressed babies.  mark my words, acid washed babies are going to be next year's big thing.
 
2014-02-09 06:47:14 PM

jso2897: MycroftHolmes: jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.

In a company the size of AOL, it is unlikely that the vast majority of people knew about the people involved.  And if you have ever talked to anyone in HR and benefits, it is not an emotional or nasty thing to understand that certain medical conditions, and certain populations, have a higher cost that must be accounted for.  I do wonder, however, if in a population of 5,600, if 2 to 4 million of cost really bent the curve that much

So you are actually defending this? Wow.
I don't see why he had any necessity to do this - it was a slap at his own employees, and the identity of the employees whose HIIPA info he publicly discussed were, as a matter of truth and fact, quickly exposed and subject to interrogation by fellow employees.
What business purpose did his little speech serve?


Unless there is more information than what is presented, he did not violate any HIPAA PHI regulations.  He would have needed to provide PII to go along with the medical information to provide PHI.

The guy may very well be an a$$hole, i don't follow AOL that closely.  But the two facts
1. High medical costs incurred are directly (if self insured) or indirectly(if third party insured) by the company and affect he bottom line
2. People in HR and benefits, as well as CFO's and other financial types will often discuss this with no animus or emotion.

I was not privy to the call so I cannot speak to his tone or intent.
 
2014-02-09 06:47:15 PM
It always nice that when dollars and cents matter, we can always trump it with a heart rendering story that somehow pays the bill and makes the underlying problem go away.

/and don't think I'm a heartless bastard. I lost twins under similar circumstances.
 
2014-02-09 06:48:09 PM

Bloody William: austin_millbarge: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Not to mention the only way he might avoid a privacy lawsuit is because the husband stays employed.

Wait wait wait. I just realized something.

Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?


Hopefully there's a lawsuit on the way from Mommy discussing exactly this.
 
2014-02-09 06:53:27 PM

jso2897: cman: jso2897: cman: jso2897: A question for the "Free marketeers" who defend this guy - does a real, free market capitalist reneg on his agreements when it's convenient?
Because I don't remember Hank Rearden or Francisco D'Anconia welshing on their employees.

People are gonna push you around. Eventually people have to stand up. Management has all the power. This has resulted in income inequality the likes that our nation has never seen. The lack of labor power is why our economy is shiat, because wages havent risen. You cant grow without growth.

Oh, I know - I was speaking tongue in cheek.
So to speak.

I am a free-market guy, but I am not blind to what is wrong with our economic troubles. You cant tax cut your way out of this. Wages need to ruse.

Yes, I am aware that there are conservatively inclined people who can still do simple arithmetic. the fact that I feel moved to complement you for it speaks volumes about the state of contemporary "consrvatism", if you can even call it that. This guy sure as shiat wouldn't:
[i18.photobucket.com image 553x613]
I only hope that here is no afterlife. I don't care to think of this good and brave man looking down on what his party and his country have become.


I am a Whig which is center-right, not necessarily a conservative. It is my belief that our economy has evolved to a point where the primary purpose is to progress mankind technologically. The best way is through competition. When people compete, the best comes out of everyone. I also believe the government exists to ensure a stable society. When our economy gets farked up, that really destabilizes everything. In order to ensure that this does not happen there need to be common sense regulations and also a well-funded police organization to investigate business crimes. What happened in 2008 should have never happened to begin with. People were sleeping and we got farked over.
 
2014-02-09 06:53:37 PM

PreMortem: I actually read TFA and I don't get what she "said" to the CEO. It was more of an account of what she and her family went through.

That being said, FEDUCIARY DUTY. If you don't like it, behead a few CEOs. Otherwise STFU.


Slashing employee retirements while giving yourself a 300% raise has nothing to do with fiduciary duty.
 
2014-02-09 06:59:25 PM
His comment is par for the course, nothing more.
 
2014-02-09 06:59:47 PM

MycroftHolmes: jso2897: MycroftHolmes: jso2897: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

You are wrong. This gentleman's decision to humiliate his employees family was anything but "logical" - it was petulant, childish, nasty, and utterly emotion driven - the act of a teenaged punk.

In a company the size of AOL, it is unlikely that the vast majority of people knew about the people involved.  And if you have ever talked to anyone in HR and benefits, it is not an emotional or nasty thing to understand that certain medical conditions, and certain populations, have a higher cost that must be accounted for.  I do wonder, however, if in a population of 5,600, if 2 to 4 million of cost really bent the curve that much

So you are actually defending this? Wow.
I don't see why he had any necessity to do this - it was a slap at his own employees, and the identity of the employees whose HIIPA info he publicly discussed were, as a matter of truth and fact, quickly exposed and subject to interrogation by fellow employees.
What business purpose did his little speech serve?

Unless there is more information than what is presented, he did not violate any HIPAA PHI regulations.  He would have needed to provide PII to go along with the medical information to provide PHI.

The guy may very well be an a$$hole, i don't follow AOL that closely.  But the two facts
1. High medical costs incurred are directly (if ...


He revealed enough about his employees HIIPA information that they were easily identified by coworkers - his evident intent.
That may not violate the criminal provisions of HIIPA, but that hardly matters, except as a deflecting tactic.
The damage to the company's public image has already been done, and more will follow with the inevitable media shiatstorm and almost obligatory lawsuits (or, far more likely, fat settlements).
 
2014-02-09 07:01:18 PM

Nick Nostril: His comment is par for the course, nothing more.


Oh, I think "civilly actionable" is more.
 
2014-02-09 07:01:46 PM

Needlessly Complicated: God Is My Co-Pirate: "Two things that happened in 2012," Armstrong said. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Christ, what an asshole.

Came here to say this.

If the insurance company jacked up the rates based on exposure, it's the insurance company's fault. Why isn't the CEO blasting them? Also, the benefits manager sucks for not being able to negotiate better rates.

Guess it's just easier to blame the blah guy and his socialist healthcare.


Unless of course AOL self-insures its employee healthcare and the insurance company is just a glorified payment processor.
 
2014-02-09 07:03:16 PM
So who gives a rotund rodents rosy red rectum about  her fragile freakin crotch-squeezins?

I vote she dies!
 
2014-02-09 07:08:14 PM
By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.
 
2014-02-09 07:09:21 PM
I sympathize with the mother...but:

 "...but the damage to my family had already been done."

There was no damage to your family because of this dickwad's statements, except those in your own mind, and those are nobody's problems but yours.  Almost nobody would know your daughter was the one being talked about, and nobody that does know you blames you for the cut to the 401K...and if somebody should actually blame you for it then they are for too stupid to even care the slightest about their opinion.

The CEO is a dick - but let's not get overly dramatic about this.
 
2014-02-09 07:09:38 PM

Thai_Mai_Xhu: So who gives a rotund rodents rosy red rectum about  her fragile freakin crotch-squeezins?

I vote she dies!


For a contemptuous laugh, heck this guy's profile! :D
 
2014-02-09 07:10:37 PM

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: I sympathize with the mother...but:

 "...but the damage to my family had already been done."

There was no damage to your family because of this dickwad's statements, except those in your own mind, and those are nobody's problems but yours.  Almost nobody would know your daughter was the one being talked about, and nobody that does know you blames you for the cut to the 401K...and if somebody should actually blame you for it then they are for too stupid to even care the slightest about their opinion.

The CEO is a dick - but let's not get overly dramatic about this.


He can tell that to the judge, in the unlikely event that cooler heads don't just pay out a fat settlement.
 
2014-02-09 07:22:04 PM

The Southern Dandy: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

Psychopath, Gangster, same-same.


The Italian-based gangstas had an honor system, generally. This puts them above many Senators, Presidents and CEOs.

Now the Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican gangs/cartels are ruthless with no honor/rules.
 
2014-02-09 07:31:49 PM
What the hell.

What the hell is next from this type of abhuman creature?

"How dare you peons try to breed!"

"How dare you deliberately have malfunctioning offspring!!"

Is that what's coming?

Is there a connection to "Why didn't you just put an aspirin between your knees, you filthy sluts!"??

I keep seeing these patterns.
 
2014-02-09 07:38:08 PM

Cyclometh: OK, so here's some research I've done and why I think Tom Armstrong is or should be in a lot of trouble for violation of the Health Insuarnce Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

HIPAA is a complex regulation, but is not hard to understand if you spend a couple of minutes learning some basics.

The first thing to understand is that HIPAA is broken into two parts- the "Security Rule" and the "Privacy Rule". We're only interested in the Privacy Rule here. The Security Rule covers things like how electronic data is stored, what safeguards there are against its being disclosed, and regulations for who can access electronic health care data (in point of fact, for Tom Armstrong to be aware of such specifics, there had to be one or more violations of the Security Rule, but let's just stick to the Privacy Rule for now).

For most of this, I'll be referring to this document:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/combined/hipaa-s im plification-201303.pdf

That is is an "Administrative Simplification" of the HIPAA requirements, boiling it all down into one document instead of requiring you to trawl through the CFR, the HIPAA text itself (laws are different than the regulations they create) and other such mind-numbing tasks.

Anayway, the big question we have to answer: Is AOL and its staff subject to HIPAA?

HIPAA is only applicable to "covered entities", which are enumerated in the regulations (see § 160.102 and § 160.103)

AOL self-insures, making it a "health care provider" under the regulation. It might be a "hybrid entity" because it also does non-healthcare stuff. But either way the Privacy Rule applies.
Here's a summary of the "Privacy Rule":

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.htm l

Here's a set of flowcharts for easy determination of whether a business is a "covered entity".

http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/HIPAA-Administrative-Sim pl ification/HIPAAGenInfo/Downloads/CoveredEntitycharts.pdf

In ...


I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.
Employers are given information, statistics if you will, about how their healthcare benefits are being used.  It helps them provide relevant benefits and to know if their benefits package is competitive.
Two newborns in a year costing a million bucks each?  Yeah, pretty sure they're going to be told about that.  /Not saying I agree with his decision or his method but we seem to be rat-holing the discussion with this  angle.
 
2014-02-09 07:43:08 PM

jso2897: By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.


Pretty much. He's looking to justify a position, that isn't justified by facts, and folks are lining up to congratulate him, because it sounds cool, because it says, "Hey, we're just being tough."
 
2014-02-09 07:49:57 PM

jso2897: By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.


Publicity made the difference. I am glad that that was the ultimate outcome.
 
2014-02-09 08:11:23 PM
$1million? he got off cheap
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-02-09 08:32:00 PM
We had some a-hole manager running around our company saying a sales associates heart attack brought up everyone's health care premiums in the company. I wish that f-ing manager would have a heart attack.
 
2014-02-09 08:50:04 PM

Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.


Didn't need to - told enough that coworkers identified them. Fat settlement, or lawsuit - book it, done.
 
2014-02-09 08:50:44 PM
This is what happens when you work for a company with a failing business model.
 
2014-02-09 09:15:55 PM
Why does this always happen to me? I must have bad taste in people.
 
2014-02-09 09:51:24 PM

midigod: Bungles: But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?

That's precisely what Reinsurance is for.  A company that has over 500 employees is generally financially able (legally) to cover their own insurance.  But as a duty to their fiduciaries, they also have Reinsurance, which covers exactly the sort of catastrophe that AOL experienced.  I know this because I've been in healthcare for the last 20 years, and my company literally "forgot" to buy reinsurance a few years ago, costing the company's plan $4 million one year, which they wouldn't have ordinarily had to pay.  And my company had less than a thousand employees at the time.  If AOL didn't have reinsurance, whomever made that decision should be fired.  It's a common and expected practice.



How many posts before somebody finnnnnnally hit the nail on the head. The distressed baby comment is a red herring to deflect attention from the fact that management failed to structure the employee insurance policies correctly with reinsurance. It's common practice by insurance companies to insure themselves against a risk profile gone awry. Management failed to buy reinsurance, risk exceeded model, management cut 401(k) benefit, pointing finger at the distressed babies as the cause.
 
2014-02-09 10:00:20 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?


Lower overhead. You don't have to pay the insurance company's profits on top of the premiums.

Most companies do it for dental care and glasses. Since almost everyone use those benefits, the premium paid to an insurance company is actually higher than the cost of the actual services rendered. For the rest of medical charges, it's harder to predict.
 
2014-02-09 10:25:17 PM

DeaH: Lee451: Where is  pro-abortion "if it cannot live on it's own then it's only a blob of tissue and not human" crowd I see so often in here?

There is no pro-abortion crowd. It's pro-choice. If the parents make a decision, that is their choice, which is something pro-choice people support. By the way, there are a significant number of us on the pro-choice side who do not care for abortion at all. We just do not feel we can make that decision for another person. We also believe that there ought to be a number of programs (good sex education, access to cheap birth control, good adoption laws, prenatal and natal medical coverage, nutrition programs, day care, parental leave, and a number of others) that make it easier for a woman to decide not to abort.


It is fashionable to call people anti-choice and pro-abortion. Mocking your enemy is a time honored tradition in conflict.
 
2014-02-09 10:28:56 PM

AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.


They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...
 
2014-02-09 10:49:10 PM

Elvis Presleys Death Throne: AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.

They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...


Hubby is executive business and global news editor at Huffington Post. He's pretty high on the masthead. He's not just an office drone. It makes this whole thing very interesting, and not nearly as easy as if he was just some analyst in sales.
 
2014-02-09 11:54:18 PM
I wonder if both the father of the distressed baby and the CEO will still be working at AOL by the end of the week. I could believe one or the other, but I'm not seeing great odds that both will still be employed there.
 
2014-02-09 11:56:36 PM
OH FRAK.

*runs out of thread unhappily*
 
2014-02-10 12:04:05 AM

firefly212: PreMortem: I actually read TFA and I don't get what she "said" to the CEO. It was more of an account of what she and her family went through.

That being said, FEDUCIARY DUTY. If you don't like it, behead a few CEOs. Otherwise STFU.

Slashing employee retirements while giving yourself a 300% raise has nothing to do with fiduciary duty.


Slashing? Going from per-payday 401k matching to annual lump sum is not slashing retirements, unless you only work there for a year and your entire retirement is $1K. AOL would save money by not paying out if you quit/retired/got fired before the 31st of December.

And he didn't give himself a raise. Corporations have these things called "boards" and "shareholders" that dictatate what CEOs get payed.

This douche saw a $7M increase in healthcare costs and decided to take it from 401k payouts instead of the $629M they made last quarter. That is all.
 
2014-02-10 12:05:34 AM

Elvis Presleys Death Throne: AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.

They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...


Her audacity truly knows no bounds; all that I'm left with are questions.

Number one, how dare she?  Number two, HOW DARE SHE??
 
2014-02-10 12:20:22 AM

MycroftHolmes: I was not privy to the call so I cannot speak to his tone or intent.


This is exactly why he really needs to start watching what he's saying.

So far, he's farked up twice, big time, with the words he used during conference calls.
 
2014-02-10 12:22:06 AM

Kittypie070: What the hell.

What the hell is next from this type of abhuman creature?

"How dare you peons try to breed!"

"How dare you deliberately have malfunctioning offspring!!"

Is that what's coming?

Is there a connection to "Why didn't you just put an aspirin between your knees, you filthy sluts!"??

I keep seeing these patterns.


I can't tell if you're quoting Tim Armstrong or Fark posters here.
 
2014-02-10 12:27:52 AM

PreMortem: And he didn't give himself a raise. Corporations have these things called "boards" and "shareholders" that dictatate what CEOs get payed.


And those "boards" are usually staffed by other "CEO's" who get their own "compensation packages" from their own "boards" which are made up of other "CEO's" who have their own "boards" yada yada yada CEO's always seem to get all of the compensation.
 
2014-02-10 12:36:43 AM

Conservative Humor: I wonder if both the father of the distressed baby and the CEO will still be working at AOL by the end of the week. I could believe one or the other, but I'm not seeing great odds that both will still be employed there.


I wonder how much longer anybody is going to be working at AOL. They are just about out of patents and other desirable assets to peddle for operating cash (the place their paper "profits" are coming from), and their once huge pile of cash is almost gone. There isn't much left for this incompetent boy-man to loot, and I doubt he has any idea how to actually make any money.
 
2014-02-10 12:39:34 AM

Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.


You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.
 
2014-02-10 12:46:10 AM
"IF YOU DESIRE TO DRAIN TO THE DREGS THE FULLEST CUP OF SCORN AND HATRED THAT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING CAN POUR OUT FOR YOU, LET A YOUNG MOTHER HEAR YOU CALL DEAR BABY 'IT.'"

~ T. S. Eliot

Tim Armstrong has the social skills of a doorknob, apparently.
 
2014-02-10 01:12:08 AM

jso2897: I wonder how much longer anybody is going to be working at AOL. They are just about out of patents and other desirable assets to peddle for operating cash (the place their paper "profits" are coming from), and their once huge pile of cash is almost gone. There isn't much left for this incompetent boy-man to loot, and I doubt he has any idea how to actually make any money.


While you have a valid point about where their piles of cash that kept them afloat after the Time Warner split came from, you have to admit that HuffPo by itself is quite viable long-term. Google Maps hasn't put Mapquest out of business yet, and AOL is still a large Internet provider in the developing world. 2013 was supposedly their most profitable year in a decade, and (other than spinning off Patch) I don't believe they sold off any major property the entire year. They also purchased adap.tv last August for more than $400 million.

Tim Armstrong might be a very bad person who treats his employees like a commodity rather than human beings, but you can't say he's not doing his fiduciary duty for the stockholders.

tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com


Of course, what remains to be seen is whether or not he can retain talent after this latest flap. I'd guess in this economy the answer is unfortunately yes.
 
2014-02-10 03:18:44 AM

snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

 
2014-02-10 03:19:21 AM

Prey4reign: Add Armstrong to the whiny 1%.

Good to hear that this "distressed baby" made it and will likely grow up, gradually losing any signs she was born premature.  At least, if my track record is anything to go on, she can.  .  I was born just a little under three pounds, blue as a smurf, with all sorts of complications that kept me in the neonatal ICU for a month and a half before my mother was allowed to touch me.  Thirty years on, I'm a healthy six-foot-tall weighing 175 pounds.  I maintain a physically active lifestyle and am on my way in the professional career of my choice.


All right I'm skipping most of the thread to reply to this.

That said, grats, and I'd give you cake if I could. Seriously.

My sister was born almost FOUR MONTHS early, in the mid 1970s. My dad was very fortunate to have a good job at NCR in Cleveland back then, and she was exclusively cared for in The Cleveland Clinic - I strongly suspect she'd have died in most other areas of the country. I don't know a whole lot about it, and since mom passed in '95 I can't ask her and dad doesn't really talk about it, but I remember some stories from when I was little, about how they went every day to the hospital to see her, and how she was in an incubator for most of that time.

She had some issues growing up, mostly vision (she had glasses at 18 months, bifocals as a young adult), but she's now a pretty successful high school language teacher, has two healthy kids, and she has the biggest feet in the family and was tallest until I peaked a few years later :D

I literally cried reading this article though. My parents were lucky enough that back when she was born, insurance worked the way it was supposed to. I'm sure they were already worried enough about her without this kind of situation sprouting up in the wake of a drawn-out major medical emergency.

That CEO needs to be removed by the board for gross insensitivity (or whatever the legal equivalent is). I don't care that he figured out enough corners to cut to 'show profit'. He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.
 
2014-02-10 04:26:50 AM

ladyfortuna: That CEO needs to be removed by the board for gross insensitivity (or whatever the legal equivalent is). I don't care that he figured out enough corners to cut to 'show profit'. He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.


You know, I'd like to agree that he should be removed from the gene pool, but it's actually the law that he has to act like the biggest dick on the planet. Every single decision he makes has to benefit the stockholders. If he fails to do so, he can even be held civilly liable - the stockholders can sue him for the money that belonged to them that he handed over to the employees.

A recent case in the news is a group of investors who are demanding that Juniper networks cut its employee pay and benefits. While it sounds like the most assholish thing on the planet, keep in mind that the investment group is planning their own retirements based on appreciation of the stock price. If you owned a restaurant, and you found out your manager was giving people free meals, cutting into your bottom line, you'd be upset, right? If he was paying someone $22/hr to wash dishes, and you knew you could easily find someone to wash dishes for $10/hr, you might consider finding a new manager.

It might be best for American workers to start making sure that they are recognized for the work they do, and that they should never be looked at as a commodity. Consider this: John Fox, head coach of the Denver Broncos, got paid $3.5 million last year. (he had the option for another $1 million if they won the Super Bowl.) His boss, John Elway, the GM of the Denver Broncos, got only $3 million. Peyton Manning, on the other hand, received $15 million. Champ Bailey received $9.5 million.

Yes, Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey do highly specialized work that only a handful of people in the world can do effectively. But would it surprise you to learn that the top servers in most casual dining restaurants normally make more than the associate managers? They have to, in order to keep the servers. The associate managers take the job at a low salary in order to get benefits and because they know that a mere adequate job will eventually see them promoted.

The workers spoke at AOL, and the 401K plan was changed back. But I have no doubts that other companies will begin doing this, and it will become the new norm over the next few years, at least for new employees. According to Deloitte and Touche, only 9% of American companies currently have this practice. Consider, however, the amount of retention leverage this gives a company - quit in July and you've just left 2% or so of your yearly salary. November it's more like 4%. The numbers are showing that Obamacare is affecting employee retention, as more people can afford to quit and get healthcare outside of jobs they don't like. This gives the companies way too much leverage over the employees, but, like the $22/hr dishwasher, if you owned the company, and had to pay out money to train new employees every time someone left, you'd be looking for every advantage in keeping them that you could.
 
2014-02-10 04:32:27 AM

ladyfortuna: He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.


"Generosity" is not the word for it. The family paid their share of the premiums, and benefits were paid out according to the terms of the policy. You don't have to say "thank you master" when a large corporation honors the terms of a legally binding contract.
 
2014-02-10 04:53:46 AM
It is outrageous that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong can get away with saying that, we should gladly pay a trillion dollars even if it keeps a severely deformed fetus alive only one second longer.
 
2014-02-10 07:56:36 AM

PsiChick: Bloody William: austin_millbarge: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Not to mention the only way he might avoid a privacy lawsuit is because the husband stays employed.

Wait wait wait. I just realized something.

Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?

Hopefully there's a lawsuit on the way from Mommy discussing exactly this.


Medical information absent identifying information is not protected PHI.  Insurers know, in aggregated form, what money was spent and what treatments for the covered group.  How else do you think the set rates?  There is no violation of HIPAA here.
 
2014-02-10 07:59:18 AM

furiousidiot: It is outrageous that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong can get away with saying that, we should gladly pay a trillion dollars even if it keeps a severely deformed fetus alive only one second longer.


That there is the dirty secret.  When it comes to lives, especially children, we would like to believe that no expense is spared.  The reality is that we, as a society, make economic decisions regarding life and death all the time.  No one wants to admit it (especially in the US, which is one of the reasons why medical costs are disproportionately high in the US).
 
2014-02-10 08:02:10 AM

Cyclometh: Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.

You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.


This doesn't make sense.  You are saying, the way to identify the parents of distressed babies is to know that they were parents of distressed babies?  His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.

And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.
 
2014-02-10 09:33:23 AM

jso2897: He revealed enough about his employees HIIPA information that they were easily identified by coworkers - his evident intent.
That may not violate the criminal provisions of HIIPA, but that hardly matters, except as a deflecting tactic.
The damage to the company's public image has already been done, and more will follow with the inevitable media shiatstorm and almost obligatory lawsuits (or, far more likely, fat settlements).


I think the fact that he knew the details is a violation of HIPAA in and of itself; that information shouldn't be accesible by anyone except the insurer (even if the company is self-insured, there is a insurance provider that handles the health information for this very reason)
 
2014-02-10 10:16:11 AM

MycroftHolmes: Medical information absent identifying information is not protected PHI.  Insurers know, in aggregated form, what money was spent and what treatments for the covered group.  How else do you think the set rates?  There is no violation of HIPAA here.


Actually, there very well could be.  The fact that the company had only two of these instances means that in identifying them, the private information was linked to those who had the medical procedures.  The personally-identifiable information is revealed by virtue of the rarity.  For example, if an insurer is asked by an employer whether there were any AIDS cases, and the insurer says "Yes, there was one," then the insurer has violated HIPAA if the company can glean the identity of the person from that admission.  This is made easy if the employer has four employees, and I've had the experience of being on the receiving end of those queries.  It's obvious what's happening, and it's pretty uncomfortable telling one of your clients you know what they're doing.  AOL has a lot of employees, but if there are only two high-dollar cases, a portion of the staff immediately knows who's being talked about.
 
2014-02-10 10:21:56 AM

MycroftHolmes: And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.


It doesn't have to be explicitly coupled, it can be revealed through deductive disclosure.  For some reason I can't embed links today, so   http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~shmat/shmat_cacm10.pdf   The second page gives a very good and detailed definition.
 
2014-02-10 10:43:04 AM
This is the sort of thing a crappy CEO does, tie specific risk-related losses to more predictable expenditures. What's the point in having insurance and being a large company if you can't absorb these types of losses without acting as if the ship were sinking? It comes across as petulant and reactive.
 
2014-02-10 10:56:07 AM

MycroftHolmes: Cyclometh: Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.

You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.

This doesn't make sense.  You are saying, the way to identify the parents of distressed babies is to know that they were parents of distressed babies?  His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.

And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.


At least for the parent who identified herself, I think it may be hard to assess damages even if a violation occurred, since she came out to discuss it.

The real issues here in my mind are 1. Linking overall employee benefits to specific issues in a calendar year, as if these are completely unpredictable, massive expenditures, which is not exactly the case. And 2. just being an asshole in a way that will turn off your employees. If you want to limit 401k expenditures, don't tie it to individual medical expenses as if nothing else mattered.
 
2014-02-10 11:14:25 AM

MycroftHolmes: His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.


Sure it did. It told people the amount of money they had received and discussed their specific conditions, which were rare enough that identification of them was trivial for anyone who knew them. Discussing specifics of amounts paid on medical claims is a violation of HIPAA.

In short, his statement was enough to identify people, what medical care they had received, and how much money was spent on them. And it was used in the context of making a move that negatively affected many people. This is precisely the kind of thing HIPAA was created to prevent.
 
2014-02-10 11:17:47 AM

Animatronik: since she came out to discuss it.


There's no damages to assess. HIPAA doesn't even mention the victims of PHI breaches much. If you're a covered entity, you must comply with HIPAA's requirements or face civil or criminal penalties. There's no claims process, no lawsuit, and no damages to be assessed in this case.

If the victim brings a civil suit, HIPAA won't enter into it except tangentially.
 
2014-02-10 11:34:07 AM
You know what? People making millions of dollars have problems in life, same as people who make $10 an hour.

People who happen to earn millions a year are still that.. people.

I wish you all could become wealthy and learn this lesson.

Life's real problems are not solved with money. The problems of the very wealthy are just as real as the problems you face, and I assure you, the very wealthy family is no happier on average than a $100k/yr household.

And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.
 
2014-02-10 11:48:32 AM

foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.


Down at the bottom, the Slate article says that the author of the article, Deanna Fei, is the author of the novel A Thread of Sky.  A Google search for Deanna Fei  produces a link to a webpage about Peter S. Goodman, which states that "Goodman lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with his wife, the novelist Deanna Fei."

Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.
 
2014-02-10 11:58:27 AM

Incredulous: Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.


Do you know who owns HuffPo?
 
2014-02-10 12:25:34 PM

ransack.: And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.


So the very wealthy have no hope for a better life, and as a result are worse off than the rest of us?

What a tragic existence they must lead.

I just saw Lone Survivor over the weekend.  Had I known then what I know know, I would have sat through that movie thinking "Well, at least they're not rich."
 
2014-02-10 01:37:30 PM

midigod: ransack.: And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.

So the very wealthy have no hope for a better life, and as a result are worse off than the rest of us?

What a tragic existence they must lead.

I just saw Lone Survivor over the weekend.  Had I known then what I know know, I would have sat through that movie thinking "Well, at least they're not rich."


Not worse off or better off. Exactly the same.. off. In different ways. But, the same.. off.
 
2014-02-10 01:48:45 PM

midigod: Incredulous: Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.

Do you know who owns HuffPo?


Why don't you just inform him that AOL owns The Huffington Post? Why do you mock a person for their ignorance, rather than utilize the perfect opportunity to genuinely educate a fellow human mind? Are you a sociopath or something? Is anonymously bullying another anonymous person on the internet the highlight of your day? Get a life. FARK, the internet, humanity, earth, and physical existence in general, doesn't need, and would be better off, without your ilk and kin.

You're farking garbage
 
2014-02-10 02:01:18 PM

PreMortem:
And he didn't give himself a raise. Corporations have these things called "boards" and "shareholders" that dictatate what CEOs get payed.


In many companies, the board is chosen or if not directly, heavily influenced by the CEO.

It's a big club, and YOU ain't in it. -- Carlin
 
2014-02-10 02:16:50 PM
Millionaires are the new whites.
 
2014-02-10 02:17:11 PM

ransack.: Why don't you just inform him that AOL owns The Huffington Post? Why do you mock a person for their ignorance, rather than utilize the perfect opportunity to genuinely educate a fellow human mind? Are you a sociopath or something? Is anonymously bullying another anonymous person on the internet the highlight of your day? Get a life. FARK, the internet, humanity, earth, and physical existence in general, doesn't need, and would be better off, without your ilk and kin.

You're farking garbage


I wasn't mocking him.  In fact, I wasn't sure whether he was trolling.  But thank you for taking advantage of that opportunity to genuinely educate me.

Seriously, that's bullying to you?

Lighten up, Francis.
 
2014-02-10 02:59:07 PM

cman: How in the blue hell is AOL still making money?


The countless people still on dialup. Some counties will never have broadband or the such due to backwards regulations set to prevent it.
 
2014-02-10 03:09:11 PM

BarkingUnicorn: "IF YOU DESIRE TO DRAIN TO THE DREGS THE FULLEST CUP OF SCORN AND HATRED THAT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING CAN POUR OUT FOR YOU, LET A YOUNG MOTHER HEAR YOU CALL DEAR BABY 'IT.'"

~ T. S. Eliot

Tim Armstrong has the social skills of a doorknob, apparently.


So why on this green earth, is he "successful" instead of in prison?

Where, I assure you he belongs.
 
2014-02-10 03:53:34 PM
Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!
 
2014-02-10 03:56:22 PM

ransack.: midigod: Incredulous: Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.

Do you know who owns HuffPo?

Why don't you just inform him that AOL owns The Huffington Post? Why do you mock a person for their ignorance, rather than utilize the perfect opportunity to genuinely educate a fellow human mind? Are you a sociopath or something? Is anonymously bullying another anonymous person on the internet the highlight of your day? Get a life. FARK, the internet, humanity, earth, and physical existence in general, doesn't need, and would be better off, without your ilk and kin.

You're farking garbage


ryanesaki.com
 
2014-02-10 04:18:14 PM

MycroftHolmes: I type this right now knowing, like all of you, that there are starving children across the globe, yet I am not doing anything about it (nor are most of you).  Doesn't make us bad people, they just are not close enough to us to mean anything beyond the abstract


I get what you are saying, but I think that actually does make most of us bad people to some extent.

We ignore, rationalize, justify, and accept it, but it doesn't change the fact that we could do something to help fellow human beings who are suffering yet we do nothing. That's bad. Of course it's also true that no single person can save the world, and I wouldn't expect anyone to dedicate their every waking moment to helping others.

I'm not excepting myself. I do no more than most people, and I must admit that my conscience doesn't bother me too much about it. But just because I have learned not to be bothered doesn't make me 'good'.

Not trying to pick a fight and I don't have a proposal to fix it, this is just my observation. There are plenty of things that we all do each day that do make us good people and maybe that offset is why we have made it this far as a species.
 
2014-02-10 04:22:45 PM

MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!


See, that right there is yer problem.
The one and only reason for a business to exist is to support and improve society.

The profiteering bullchit is just what we have come to expect from years of government training.
 
2014-02-10 04:24:51 PM

snocone: MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!

See, that right there is yer problem.
The one and only reason for a business to exist is to support and improve society.

The profiteering bullchit is just what we have come to expect from years of government training.


Question-do you get paid for the work you do?  If so, you are a complete hypocrite.
 
2014-02-10 04:29:18 PM

MikeM: the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!


You worded that in a way that deliberately gives him credit for every penny of AOL revenue.  He didn't generate revenue any more than the sales staff, the editors, the customer service staff who kept people from terminating service, or the middle management who herded those workers.  His compensation is not reflective of the contribution he made.
 
2014-02-10 04:30:43 PM

MycroftHolmes: snocone: MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!

See, that right there is yer problem.
The one and only reason for a business to exist is to support and improve society.

The profiteering bullchit is just what we have come to expect from years of government training.

Question-do you get paid for the work you do?  If so, you are a complete hypocrite.


You do not know chit?
Or just pretending?
 
2014-02-10 04:39:13 PM

MikeM: s; b


So much this...

Anyone who thinks the sole purpose of a business isn't to make money is kidding themselves. Go ask your boss. Go ask your bosses boss.

Heck, why are YOU at work? Cause you love it so much and just can't wait to come back tomorrow? For most of us, that's a lie. If you are one of the good people in the world, you are working to better society. Heavens knows that's not 99% of businesses, or AOL.

This lady had no reason to go public. If I was a betting man, her husband was on his way out of AOL anyway, and they wanted the last word before he left..
 
2014-02-10 04:42:29 PM

papatex: MikeM: s; b

So much this...

Anyone who thinks the sole purpose of a business isn't to make money is kidding themselves. Go ask your boss. Go ask your bosses boss.

Heck, why are YOU at work? Cause you love it so much and just can't wait to come back tomorrow? For most of us, that's a lie. If you are one of the good people in the world, you are working to better society. Heavens knows that's not 99% of businesses, or AOL.

This lady had no reason to go public. If I was a betting man, her husband was on his way out of AOL anyway, and they wanted the last word before he left..


If they tol' ya their plan, and I wager it is a good one, it would become just another business plan.
 
2014-02-10 04:49:45 PM

snocone: MycroftHolmes: snocone: MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!

See, that right there is yer problem.
The one and only reason for a business to exist is to support and improve society.

The profiteering bullchit is just what we have come to expect from years of government training.

Question-do you get paid for the work you do?  If so, you are a complete hypocrite.

You do not know chit?
Or just pretending?


Can you parse this into a meaningful statement for me?  I would love to respond, but have no idea what you are saying.
 
2014-02-10 04:53:26 PM

MycroftHolmes: snocone: MycroftHolmes: snocone: MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.  So...imagine that.  The CEO made a decision to cut 401k funds - NOT the healthcare program - because they had an unanticipated outlay in healthcare benefits in 2013.  WOW!  And this mommy, one of 5,600 worldwide AOL employees, decides to "go public" because she believes the CEO, who, by the way, generated revenues in excess of $2.19 billion in 2012 for the company, is "dissing" her little snowflake.  She could have shut the fark up and no one would have known who she was; but, instead, she grabs free publicity to promote her 4-year-old novel (notice how its title is conveniently included at the end of the article) and the CEO is demonized. Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking and get your asses out there into corporate America and make something of yourself like Tim Armstrong did. This is a non-story...and don't reply by citing his huge compensation at AOL - the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!

See, that right there is yer problem.
The one and only reason for a business to exist is to support and improve society.

The profiteering bullchit is just what we have come to expect from years of government training.

Question-do you get paid for the work you do?  If so, you are a complete hypocrite.

You do not know chit?
Or just pretending?

Can you parse this into a meaningful statement for me?  I would love to respond, but have no idea what you are saying.


We are all better off that way.
Don't want you hurting yourself.
 
2014-02-10 04:56:37 PM

snocone: We are all better off that way.
Don't want you hurting yourself.


That is really funny.  Good job!
 
2014-02-10 05:03:36 PM

papatex: MikeM: s; b

So much this...

Anyone who thinks the sole purpose of a business isn't to make money is kidding themselves. Go ask your boss. Go ask your bosses boss.

Heck, why are YOU at work? Cause you love it so much and just can't wait to come back tomorrow? For most of us, that's a lie. If you are one of the good people in the world, you are working to better society. Heavens knows that's not 99% of businesses, or AOL.

This lady had no reason to go public. If I was a betting man, her husband was on his way out of AOL anyway, and they wanted the last word before he left..


People who believe that businesses are in it for any reason other than to maximize profits are naive an idealistic (and almost definitely not business owners).  That being said, there are often very good financial reasons for socially conscious strategies, including marketability, talent retention and acquisition, and overall sustainability.
 
2014-02-10 05:12:34 PM
Now we were Farkers and we likely knew,
that we would race until somethin' blew,
and we thought it over,
now, wouldn't you?
 
2014-02-10 08:11:57 PM

MikeM: The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  If the company does not maximize profits, shareholders will look for another place to invest their money.


The CEO and financial sector cater to MAJORITY shareholders mostly comprised to the executives or large block institutional shareholders. They do NOT give a flying fark about the mom and pop shareholders who have 100 shares.

Being a shareholder is not being part of a democracy where you the shareholder have an equal standing with any other shareholder. It's a fiefdom it's all about HOW MUCH you own which determines the influence you have.

In small companies the majority shareholders are typically the founders the executives and those who did initial investment rounds. The employees are typically given stock options out of a tiny sliver of the total equity AND are blocked from selling for 6 months after IPO while the other, non employees and dump shares.

Again, it's all a big club and you and I aren't in it.
 
2014-02-10 10:05:03 PM

MikeM: His compensation is a drop in the bucket!


And if he keeps pulling these moves, his compensation is going to be a swift kick in the ass.
 
2014-02-10 10:05:50 PM

MikeM: Stow the class jealousy, venom and socialistic thinking


fark off.
 
2014-02-11 12:29:04 AM

semiotix: Yeah. It's a little surprising that AOL's lawyers didn't show up at the affected employees' doors the next morning with sacks of cash and nondisclosure agreements. (Probably because AOL can't afford proactive lawyers anymore.) But they'll sure as hell be doing it now.


Oh this will be their reason for cutting employee benefits next year - "We had to pay a large amount of legal defense fees (that equaled less than %20 of my salary, still)".

Armstrong is just a shiatbird all the way around.  He keeps using the "Employees First" mantra with his staff, but the HQ's actions fall far from the rhetoric over and over again.  Fire a Patch employee for taking a photo during a meeting.  Outing a family's medical issues to avoid taking heat for cutting 401(k) benefits, while lining his own pockets with millions of dollars.  Selling $1 Billion of patents (created by the employees of AOL) and, remember "Employees First!", giving all $1 Billion of that cash to the stockholders as dividends.  $1 Billion would have gone a long, long way to build up many of the brands AOL owns, but Armstrong and his crew made it very clear where their alliances lie.  The cash from those patent sales were NOT kept for operating costs.

They'll keep doing it too, up until the day they take their golden parachutes and depart from AOL.   Total spineless asshats, all of them.

All I really needed to know about all this was on CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/opinion/roby-armstrong-obamacare/index .h tml

MikeM: Seems to be an awful lot of folks here that don't understand the concept behind the establishment of a business.  A business is not a social program, it's not employment of the unemployed for the sake of employment and it's not democratic.  A business is established for one reason and only one reason - to make money.  The CEO answers to the millions of company shareholders.  ...the man generated revenues of $2.19 BILLION in 2012!  His compensation is a drop in the bucket!


Oh, Jesus.  If you are still working on your business degree, go to your instructors and slap them all for failing to provide you an adequate education.  If you already have a business degree and are running a business, go to your staff and kneel down before them and beg for forgiveness for your asinine opinion on their contribution to your bank account.
 
Displayed 274 of 274 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report