Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jim Matthews denies wrongdoing in insurance choice

Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews has stepped in it again, awarding a $3 million county contract to a firm that contributed generously to his last political campaign.

From an article by Keith Phucas in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury:
NORRISTOWN — Facing increased scrutiny over Montgomery County's decision to self insure employees and questions about the county's dealings with a health benefits consultant, CBIZ, that contributed to his campaign, commissioners' Chairman James R. Matthews denies he's done anything wrong.

The commissioners voted 2-1 in November for the county to insure employees next year, after Blue Cross notified officials the company had lost about $6 million covering the county staff and would no longer provide coverage. Instead, the insurer with be the county plan's administrator.

"They were whacked last year and didn't want to get whacked again," Matthews said Tuesday. "They're going from being gamblers to being managers."

Matthews and Commissioner Joseph M. Hoeffel voted for the self insurance plan; Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. voted no and wanted to know more about the insurers' plans who refused to give the county price quotes.
Phucas notes that Matthews received six contributions from CBIZ employees totaling just over $23,000 on Oct. 9, 2007, during his last campaign for county commissioner.

Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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