Sample Shareholder Resolution
Health Care Reform Principles
2009 – Ford Motor Company
RESOLVED: shareholders urge the Board of Directors to adopt principles for comprehensive health care reform (such as those based upon principles reported by the Institute of Medicine:
1. Health care coverage should be universal.
2. Health care coverage should be continuous.
3. Health care coverage should be affordable to individuals and families.
4. The health insurance strategy should be affordable and sustainable for society.
5. Health insurance should enhance health and well being by promoting access to high-quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, patient-centered, and equitable).
Consistently polls show that access to affordable, comprehensive health care insurance is the most significant social policy issue in America (NBC News/Wall Street Journal, the Kaiser Foundation and The New York Times/CBS News). Health care reform also has become a core issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.
Many national organizations have made health care reform a priority. In 2007, representing “a stark departure from past practice,” the American Cancer Society redirected its entire $15 million advertising budget “to the consequences of inadequate health coverage” in the United States (New York Times, 8/31/07).
John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable (representing 160 of the country's largest companies), states that 52% of the Business Roundtable’s members say health costs represent their biggest economic challenge. "The cost of health care has put a tremendous weight on the U.S. economy," according to Castellani, "The current situation is not sustainable in a global, competitive workplace.” (BusinessWeek, July 3, 2007). The National Coalition on Health Care (whose members include 75 of the United States’ largest publicly-held companies, institutional investors and labor unions), also has created principles for health insurance reform. According to the National Coalition on Health Care, implementing its principles would save employers presently providing health insurance coverage an estimated $595-$848 billion in the first 10 years of implementation.
Annual surcharges as high as $1160 for the uninsured are added to the total cost of each employee’s health insurance, according to Kenneth Thorpe, a leading health economist at Emory University. Consequently, we shareholders believe that the 47 million Americans without health insurance results in higher costs for U.S. companies providing health insurance to their employees.
In our view, increasing health care costs have focused growing public awareness and media coverage on the plight of active and retired workers struggling to pay for medical care. Increasing health care costs leads companies to shift costs to employees. This can reduce employee productivity, health and morale.
Supporting Statement: The Institute of Medicine, established by Congress as part of the National Academy of Sciences, issued its principles for reforming health insurance coverage in Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations (2004). Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Levitt, said in a September speech that, at its present growth rate, health care spending “could potentially drag our nation into a financial crisis that makes our major subprime mortgage crisis look like a warm summer rain.” (NYT, Dec. 3, 2008)