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Investment Firms Question WellPoint Political Spending

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

Michael Pryce-Jones, senior analyst at CtW Investment Group, an umbrella group representing union pension funds, says the WellPac report does not include information about special assessments, which he defines as "one-time payments to trade organizations."

He contends that WellPoint's past and future political funding activity is especially relevant in light of its planned $4.9 billion acquisition of Amerigroup. "With the Amerigroup acquisition heavily premised on Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act shareholders need to know whether WellPoint is part of any new industry efforts to undermine the ACA," he explains.

The group has not been able to rally shareholder support for its position. A resolution asking WellPoint to provide additional disclosure was soundly defeated during the company's annual meeting in May.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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