Health care billionaires stay rich as America gets sicker

Americans have never spent more on health care. At the same time, we are growing sicker and dying sooner, according to experts.

While the average patient may not seem to be benefiting from all the money flooding in into the medical system, it seems to have been a very good thing for some health care billionaires.

On the newest list of billionaires as compiled by Forbes, there are dozens of moguls who made their fortunes in health care (or are heirs of people who did).

Keep in mind that most of the money pouring into health care comes via the government (in other words, taxpayers) through Medicare, Medicaid, and other subsidies.

Becker’s Hospital Review summarized these wealthy men and women who include:

Dr. Thomas Frist, co-founder of HCA Healthcare, a giant hospital system, and his family, net worth: $26.2 billion.

Numerous associates of Stryker Corp., “a leading supplier of trauma and extremities products for the surgical treatment of bone fractures, abnormalities and diseases.” They include Ronda Stryker, net worth: $8.2 billion; John Brown, net worth: $7.7 billion, Jon Stryker, net worth: $5.4 billion; and Pat Stryker, $3.2 billion.

Judy Faulkner, founder of the Electronic Health Record company: Epic Systems, net worth: $7.4 billion.

Reinhold Schmieding, founder of surgical device maker Arthrex, net worth: $7.3 billion.

Robert Duggan, who led the 2015 sale of Pharmacyclics to AbbVie, net worth: $3.9 billion.

Dr. Leonard Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, net worth: $3.5 billion.

Dr. George Yancopoulos, president of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, net worth: $2.1 billion.

Amy Wyss, daughter of a Swiss billionaire who started the medical equipment firm Synthes, which was sold in 2021 to Johnson & Johnson, net worth: $2 billion

John Abele, co-founder of medical device company Boston Scientific, net worth: $1.9 billion

Dr. James Leininger, founder of the medical device company Kinetic Concepts, net worth: $1.9 billion.

Dr. Philip Frost, CEO of Opko Health, a medical test and medication company, net worth: $1.8 billion.

Timothy Springer, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an investor in pharmaceutical companies, $1.5 billion.

David Paul, founder of Globus Medical, a medical device manufacturer, net worth: $1.4 billion.

Robert Langer, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his lab focuses on “the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, DNA and RNAi,”   and vaccine delivery systems, among other inventions, net worth: $1.2 billion.

Forrest Preston, CEO of Life Care Centers of America long-term care company, net worth: $1.2 billion

John Oyler, CEO of BeiGene, specializing in the development of cancer drugs: $1 billion.

Dr. Roy Vagelos, former head of Merck: $1 billion

Read more at Becker’s Hospital Review.

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4 thoughts on “Health care billionaires stay rich as America gets sicker”

  1. I believe Trump promised to revamp Obama care and one of first laws he attempted to repeal was Obama care and it was immediately shot down now people with half a brain see the results. Americans paying for their own medical bills and the government handing insurance companies billions for basically nothing. The illegals however are being provided free healthcare as well as all of their other free package items. Simply by getting into America by whichever method possible. Biden will even fly them in at tax payer expense. A win, win for them not so much for Americans.

  2. It is next to impossible to get F2F “health care” in the US today without going up against multiple layers or clerks, subordinates, paraprofessionals, and policy fiats they alone police.

    Yet the insurance premiums get relentlessly paid every single month.

  3. Am finding my new PPO Medicare plan, from aa famous name brand provider, is proving to be an utter marketing scam.

    Before switching I checked their lists of providers to see what access I would have in my local area – all the right boxes got checked along, with their PPO promise no need for a PCP gatekeeper, or a referral to see a specialist.

    Freedom I breathed when compared to my prior HMO plan. I could direct my own health care now. Sure it cost me more, and there was a co-pay for specialists but that is what I really wanted – I waned to direct my own health care choices. Not just be a hapless cog in someone else’s one size fits all health metric formulaics.

    Then reality bit. Virtually all of the listed providers in my new PPO plan would not take new patients, the specialists would not take appointment without a referral from a PCP first. Yet, I could not get a new patient exam with a PCP until October, but meanwhile I will be paying my premiums for the entire year.

    The list of providers on their website was hopelessly outdated and blatantly inaccurate, many were not even practicing at the locations listed. This was clearly bait and switch. Yet, the premiums continue to get paid.

    Thanks Obama. Maybe one day I can finally keep my doctor, but I have to find one first. There are too many moving parts in ‘healthcare” to let the government run any one-size fits all system at extreme cost and little access or benefit. All you do it get dunned for covid shots and spurious tests you own health history may not even warrant.

    In the middle of my current travails to even get in the door, my health insurance website now duns me with the alert I not having had my Wellness Exam this year!!!

    Beware of “free universal health care”. It won’t be anything like you think it will be. Nor can I imagine a single physician ever wanting to participate in such a system. There is a proliferation of “foreign names” now among their providers. Assume these have not trained at US facilities.

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