Trillium Joins ICCR in Challenging Efforts to Kill Healthcare Reform
November 13, 2009 – As the healthcare reform debate in Congress shifts to the U.S. Senate, leading faith-based and concerned institutional investors including Trillium Asset Management Corporation, are pressuring 36 major companies – including Merck, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, AT&T, IBM and General Electric — to state publicly if the U.S. Chamber speaks for them in its aggressive campaign to kill efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. Significantly, all of the companies had previously agreed at the urging of shareholders to embrace healthcare principles that are now inconsistent with the anti-reform stance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on health care legislation.
The 275-member Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) reported today that 60 of its faith-based and concerned institutional investor members have contacted a total of 36 companies by letter or direct outreach asking the major publicly traded firms to clarify whether or not the Chamber speaks for them on healthcare reform and, if not, to make a public statement to that effect. The full text of the letter from the ICCR is available online at www.iccr.org.
Laura Berry, executive director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, said: “Faith-based investors already concerned about the ‘disconnect’ between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its leading members on climate legislation are now troubled to see the same dynamic at work on the healthcare reform bill. We want to be very clear that every single one of these companies had previously agreed to adopt healthcare reform principles that are directly at odds with the extremist position that has been taken up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Faith-based investors see the passage of healthcare reform as an historic opportunity that calls for all stakeholders, including companies, to step up and be counted. These companies should make it abundantly clear that they stand by their principles on healthcare and that, as such, the U.S. Chamber does not speak for them.”
Trillium believes healthcare reform is not only essential for social and economic reasons, but is in the long-term interest of these companies. It is time for them to stand up for healthcare reform, make good on their pledges, and make it clear that the U.S. Chamber does not represent their position.