Brother of Former President George H.W. Bush Collapses at Meeting

INDIANAPOLIS -- The brother of former President George H.W. Bush collapsed during health insurer WellPoint Inc.'s annual meeting Tuesday morning.

William H.T. Bush, 71, has served on the company's board of directors since 2004. He was sitting with other directors during a question-and-answer session when he moaned and rolled to his right side about an hour into the meeting. WellPoint officials cleared the room and called for help.

Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room doctor and frequent WellPoint critic who attended the meeting, rushed with some other people to Bush. Stone said he stayed with the director until help arrived. He said Bush was alert and talking.

"I felt like he was going to be OK," Stone said.

The director was sitting up on a stretcher as emergency workers pulled him out about 25 minutes after he collapsed.

WellPoint, the largest commercial health insurer based on enrollment, runs Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states and Unicare plans in several others. The insurer has received strong criticism for planned rate hikes to individual health insurers, and several company critics attended the meeting.

Some were not happy the insurer adjourned it as soon as Bush became ill.

Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, implored WellPoint CEO Angela Braly to continue the meeting as several people attended to Bush, who was laying on the floor.

Bush serves on the board of several companies and investment funds. He is also founder and chairman of Bush O'Donnell Investment Advisors.