Centene uses subsidiaries to amplify political donations, report says

Centene has donated to political candidates in states where it is up for Medicaid contract selection or defending itself against overbilling accusations, sometimes through multiple subsidiaries, according to a Kaiser Health News report published Nov. 4. 

Centene has amplified donations by giving through multiple subsidiaries to the governors of Nevada, South Carolina and New York, KHN reported. Corporate law allows each subsidiary to give as its own business. 

In Nevada, Centene's Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana subsidiaries were among the plans that donated to incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak's campaign. 

Centene subsidiary SilverSummit manages Medicaid contracts in Nevada. Mr. Sisolak approved a new public option health plan in 2021 open to bidding from contractors like SilverSummit. 

In the months after the donation, Centene settled with the state for a sum of $11.3 million to resolve allegations it overbilled the state's Medicaid program. Centene has paid similar settlements in at least 13 states. 

In a statement to KHN, a representative for Mr. Sisolak said there is "zero correlation" between how the governor legislates and Centene's donations. 

The St. Louis-based payer was also caught in the middle of the midterm elections in Georgia, donating to the incumbent Republican governor and attorney general. Centene is in the process of settling overbilling allegations in Georgia, KHN reported in October. 

Since 2015, Centene has given at least $26.9 million to politicians in 33 states, political parties, and nonprofit fundraising groups, according to a KHN analysis of public records. 

In a statement to the outlet, a Centene spokesperson said the company follows all federal, state and local laws and records all political contributions. 

Read the full report here.

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