WellCare political muscle at issue

By Mike Wells
10/5/2010 © Health News Florida

WellCare Health Plans became one of the biggest political contributors in Florida between 2004 and 2007, using a web of companies and employees to shower the state Republican Party and GOP candidates with campaign cash.

But Tampa attorney Barry Cohen says WellCare did more than line pockets to keep political favor. Cohen, who represents a whistleblower in a federal lawsuit against WellCare, said today the contributions were pennies on the dollar compared to the money the HMO saved in Medicaid fines — and the profits it made.

In an unusual legal move, Cohen now wants one of the recipients of the campaign cash, Attorney General Bill McCollum, disqualified from helping decide how much WellCare should have to pay to settle the whistleblower case, which alleges widespread Medicaid fraud.

Read the rest of the story here.

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About Mike
Mike Wells is an award winning, independent journalist living in St. Louis, Mo. He is available for investigative projects, freelance reporting and media relations consulting.

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