WILSON: WXIA-TV tells position of Senator Unterman and employment

“Steal a little and they throw you in jail; steal a lot and they make you king.”—Bob Dylan

By George Wilson  |  Wikipedia states that “Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.”

00_icon_wilsonNowhere is this more evident than in the state capitol. As an illustration, here is one example.

Georgia State Senator Renee Unterman (R–45th District, Sugar Hill/Buford) is chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. She is also an executive with a health insurer that has a billion dollar a year state Medicaid contract, according to state financial records. (See this link.)

WXIA TV discovered the senator’s dual role. It reported: “The state of Georgia adopted a managed care program for Medicaid in 2005, the same year Sen. Unterman took a job with one of the winning bidders, Amerigroup.”

Senator Unterman told the television station: ““When I went to work for Amerigroup, they already had the contract. I started working at Amerigroup in 2009.”

However, the station reported that “Unterman’s financial disclosures back to 2005, the latest year for which there are accessible records, show she listed herself as a corporate executive with Amerigroup in that year.” Then she added: ““It wasn’t 2009, I’m sorry, I got the date wrong,” the senator said. “It was 10 years ago.”

They also reported “Amerigroup Georgia was paid $1.1 billion last year by Georgia’s Department of Community Health, according to state finance records.” Those records show Amerigroup is the third-highest paid state vendor. The largest is Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Georgia, also owned by Amerigroup’s parent company, Anthem. Also, this company recently received a significant contract for state health insurance.”

Furthermore, WXIA said: “Unterman’s current financial disclosure lists her employer as Anthem – which Georgia paid more than $3.4 billion in tax money in 2015, according to state records showing payments to Anthem subsidiaries Blue Cross-Blue Shield and Amerigroup.”

Senator Unterman was on the committee that made the ethics rules so none of this may be unethical under the current setup.

In conclusion, it is strange rather strange that she only added this employment information to her biographical information after the recent inquiry?