Fact check: Bernie Sanders' claims about insurance company CEOs' income

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Bernie Sanders made three claims on Twitter about what insurance company CEOs earned in 2017. He wrote:

What insurance company CEOs made in 2017:
– Leonard Schleifer (Regeneron): $95.3 million
– Dave Wichmann (UnitedHealth): $83.2 million
– Mark Bertolini (Aetna): $58.7 million

Claim 1: Leonard Schleifer (Regeneron): $95.3 million

Fact check:

Needs more data. Regeneron not an insurance company (it’s a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company), but its CEO Leonard Schleifer was reported to have earned roughly $95 million in 2017, according to Axios. How Axios arrived at this number has yet to be determined. According to a SEO filing, Schleifer earned close to $27,000,000. Which seems low considering BioPharma Dive reported he earned over $40 million in 2015.

Claim 2: Dave Wichmann (UnitedHealth): $83.2 million

Fact check:

True. Wichmann’s reported salary of $17 million pales in comparison to what he earned in bonuses and additional compensation (Fierce Healthcare). 

Claim 3: Mark Bertolini (Aetna): $58.7 million

Fact check:

First data point: The Wall Street Journal says $17.3 million in 2015, up from $15.1 million in 2014. This is not directly relevant to the claim by Bernie Sanders but provides an initial potential for context.

This story in Business Insider mentions a number of “as much as $85 million” – tied to the closing of sale of the company to CVS Health. This suggests that if we verify the Sanders claim, we will want to add the context of what the main cause of the spike was, if it was the acquisition.

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    2018-08-14 11:10:56 . . (talk | contributions) (Update → style tweaks, removed hero image) ->Current DRAFT version
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