The Life and Hard Times of William McGuire

William McGuire, the CEO of the Minnetonka-based HMO United Health Care, should have another bountiful Christmas. Naturally, as chieftain of the second largest HMO in the nation, McGuire is handsomely compensated. But how, um, handsomely? According to Joel Albers, a health care economist with the organization Minnesota Universal Health Care Action Network, McGuire is the highest paid CEO in the history of Minnesota. Last year, McGuire reaped salary and stock options worth approximately $124 million; a hefty leap from his $94 million compensation package in 2003. By Albers' calculations, if McGuire were to accept a paltry $19 million for his past two years labors, there would be enough money left over to insure the 77,000 Minnesota children who currently lack coverage.