The majority of Americans believe that secret corporate money in politics is a bad thing for democracy, but what about the real life (and death) impacts on the millions of people who passively own part of the company and/or purchase its services?
By Jack ucciferri, Portfolio Manager, Harrington Investments
Do you have health insurance in the United States?
If so, there's a good chance you're insured by WellPoint. Roughly one in nine Americans are.
Own a mutual fund? Got a pension?
If so, there's a pretty good chance that you are an owner of WellPoint stock.
And if you are insured by and/or invested in WellPoint, that means that you are a major benefactor of some of our country's most influential politicians, folks like President Obama and House Speaker Boehner.
Congratulations, I bet you didn't consider yourself a Washington, D.C. power player.
In the 2012 election cycle so far, WellPoint has reported giving upwards of $2 million to political candidates, political action committees (PACs), and organizations. Unfortunately, we may never know precisely how much more, because the above figures come from information that we have access to because federal law mandates its disclosure. Incidentally, the disclosed donations went to Republicans over Democrats at a ratio of more than 2-1. And WellPoint subsidiaries spent more than $21.5 million on lobbying during 2011. They will likely spend even more this year.