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Investment Firms Question WellPoint Political Spending

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 31, 2012

"Unfortunately, we are concerned that WellPoint's activities around healthcare reform, particularly in light of the proposed acquisition of Amerigroup, embody the other extreme: political spending that lacks adequate disclosure and potentially places shareholder value and corporate reputation at risk."

Interest in the political and lobbying efforts of health insurers has increased since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 and the efforts by the US Chamber of Commerce and others to have the law repealed. The investment firms contend that WellPoint has not fully answered questions about its involvement in the transfer of $100 million to the Chamber, which reportedly used the money to fund its opposition efforts.

WellPoint officials did not respond to questions from HealthLeaders Media. In the past the company has stated that its contributions fully meet all state and federal reporting rules and regulations.

The annual report of WellPac, WellPoint's political action committee, details its extensive contributions to trade associations, including America's Health Insurance Plans, as well to candidates for state and federal offices.

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