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Carroll School of Management

Politics

Stephen A. Wynn

Chairman and CEO, Wynn Resorts

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College Chief Executives Club  

June 8, 2016

TAKEAWAY: Politics

Can you imagine rewarding positive behavior—the behavior you wish to encourage—that’s how we run our businesses, right, gang? We reward the behavior that we wish to encourage.

Can you imagine if the U.S. tax policy was based upon that philosophy? How simple would that be? Four hundred and sixty-five agencies, 2,650,000 civilian employees—suppose we told those employees, union members, SEIU, civil service—we don’t care about unions in my business. We’ve got—we’re a union house. We don’t care. They’re our employees.

Suppose we tell everybody in those 465 agencies and 200 sub-agencies, look, you all get together, show us how to save some money, be more efficient in your agency. And whatever you save us, you guys get 20% of it as a bonus. You’d see government shrink in two seconds.

You have health savings accounts and tell people that make $130 or $140 million a year—a couple whose tax bill is $20,000—don’t send $4,000 to Washington, where it’ll be diffused by bureaucratic expense and overhead.

You put the $4,000 in a health savings account—that little tax credit—you got to buy an umbrella policy for $2,000, a $50,000 deductible—you do that. And when it gets to $15,000, you can keep taking the $4,000. You keep a balance of $15,000, pay the rest of your bills out of it. You keep the $4,000. Now, all of a sudden, that health savings account is their money, and they can use the $4,000 every year over that to buy shoes, go to Hawaii, or pay for the kids’ education.

You turn health savings account into your own money, you’ll see people start stopping with extra MRIs and CAT scans and courses of drugs for their neighbors when they don’t need it. You’ll see health care costs go down.

When we advertise—Geico fights Allstate and Progressive—what happens to auto insurance? It goes down. When Verizon goes against Vonage, what happens to long-distance charges? They go down.

Never happens with insurance. Affordable Care Act didn’t touch it—didn’t touch it. Defensive testing and the use of this expensive equipment and these wonderful hospitals here—one of the biggest drivers of health care costs is the defensive use of the exotic diagnostic equipment, because doctors want to cover their ass.

You stop pain and suffering at $500,000, like they did in Texas, and malpractice insurance dropped 43% the first year.