Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Uncle Bucky Bush’s Wellpoint Adventure

The President’s Uncle sits on the Board of Directors of Wellpoint, a large health insurer who just reported an increase in profits of 27%. The company reported over 1.5 million new Medicare Part D subscribers compared to last year and highlighted the benefits of its acquisition of WellChoice, a former competitor. William H. T. (Bucky) Bush owns 86,874 shares of Wellpoint, c currently trading price of $76 per share.

The President wants insurers to compete with one another, but Wellpoint’s report indicates one less competitor. The President’s uncle has a long history of serving on health insurers boards of directors, but he officially joined Wellpoint’s board in November of 2004 after a merger.

Did the President ever ask his Uncle for advice on the design of Medicare Part D? Whether he did or not, Wellpoint’s stock is up 100% since his nephew signed the bill enabling the new prescription drug program on December 8, 2003. That amounts to an increase in Uncle Bucky’s portfolio of $3,300,000. His stake in Wellpoint is valued at over $6,600,000 thanks in part to his Executive Office relation.

Bucky serves on other boards as well as stated by his online bio. They include Maritz Inc., Mississippi Valley Bancshares, Inc., and Engineered Support Systems, Inc., all of St. Louis; Wellpoint Health Networks of Thousand Oaks, California, DT Industries, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, and the Lord Abbett Family of Funds of New York. He has served and continues to serve on a variety of other smaller, private company boards.

How has government policy enriched the President’s Uncle outside of health insurance? That’s the topic for another post…

No comments: