(CI) CIGNA Cuts Lobbying Costs

Philadelphia-based managed care company CIGNA Corp.(CI) has reportedly spent $280,000 on lobbying the Federal Government during the first quarter of 2011. However, lobbying expenses in the reported quarter marked a decline of 30% from the previous-year quarter and 18% from the previous quarter.

Lobbying is an activity usually paid by an interest group to promote its position to legislatures by influencing opinion leaders, thereby creating a climate for the change they desire.

CIGNA,  the fourth largest health insurer (on the basis of membership), lobbied during the first quarter for defending the Medicare Advantage, a form of Medicare delivered by private insurance companies that President Barack Obama has reduced reimbursements to. The company also lobbied on Part D prescription drug programs, the Open Access to Courts Act of 2009, and the taxation of employer-provided benefits.

In the first quarter last year, CIGNA had spent $400,000 to influence the members of Government’s executive and legislative body in its stride, when the health care debate was at its peak and nearing execution.

CIGNA has spent more than $4.4 million over the past four years to influence decisions in its favor. During 2010, the company spent about $1.5 million on lobbying, while in 2009, when the Congress was strongly debating over the healthcare reform, CIGNA’s lobbying expenses totaled $1.8 million.

Besides Congress and the White House, CIGNA also lobbied the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CIGNA’s close competitors UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and Aetna Inc. (AET) also indulged in lobbying during the first quarter of 2011. While Unitedhealth recorded lobbying expenditure of $660,000 (in line with last-year quarter but up 14% sequentially), Aetna spent $1.1 million on lobbying activity (down 34% year over year but up 9% sequentially) in the quarter under review.

AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis Report

CIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report

UNITEDHEALTH GP (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report

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