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(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  
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17003 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2014 at 3:32 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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
 
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