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Activists march outside of Eli Lilly's offices at Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City on September 5, 2019 (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'Outrageous,' Says Bernie Sanders as Filings Show Top Healthcare CEOs Raked in Combined $300 Million in 2019

Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, vowed to "end the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and pass Medicare for All."

Jake Johnson

Annual financial filings compiled by Axios Friday show that 10 of the nation's top healthcare CEOs took home more than $300 million in combined pay in 2019, compensation that Sen. Bernie Sanders denounced as "outrageous" and indicative of the industry's greed.

"While Americans continue to pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the top 10 healthcare CEOs made over $300 million in compensation last year," tweeted Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

"We will end the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and pass Medicare for All," added Sanders, who has been targeted by industry-backed ad campaigns against universal healthcare.

Axios reported that the executives' eye-popping compensation in 2019 "mostly came from large stock gains."

Ari Bousbib, CEO of pharmaceutical data firm IQVIA, raked in more than $104 million in 2019, according to Axios' healthcare executive compensation tracker. Gary Guthart, CEO of clinical technology firm Intuitive Surgical CEO, brought home nearly $50.5 million. David Ricks, chief executive at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, made over $30 million.

"The healthcare system is a firehose of spending," Axios noted, "and a good chunk of that money always makes its way to the top."

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Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·

NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·

Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·

Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

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