WellPoint Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer based on membership, spent $1.2 million in the second quarter to lobby
the federal government on a variety of health care reform-related issues and other topics, according to a recent disclosure
The Indianapolis-based company lobbied on employer-sponsored insurance, the uninsured and an option to
create a government plan, as congressional committees worked on legislation to trim spiraling health care costs and cover
the nation’s uninsured.
WellPoint also lobbied on electronic health records, comparative effectiveness research
and Medicare Advantage, among other topics, according to a report filed July 20 with the U.S. House of Representatives’ clerk’s
WellPoint, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, lobbied Congress and the Department
of Health and Human Services in the April-June period.
Among those lobbying on WellPoint’s behalf were Stephen
Northrup, former health policy director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; and Kim Zimmerman,
whose previous jobs included legislative assistant to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), research analyst with the Department of Justice,
and legislative correspondent and assistant to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
The insurer’s second-quarter spending
total represented a 35-percent increase compared with the same quarter last year, but a slight decrease from the $1.22 million
it spent in the first quarter.
Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp. and Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna Inc. also reported
spending increases in the second quarter compared with last year. But Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. and
Louisville-based Humana Inc. reported drops.