This excerpt taken from the GOOG DEF 14A filed Mar 24, 2009.
We agree with the proponent that rising health care costs and health care reform are significant social policy issues in the United States. We believe that a strong, effective, high-quality, and well-managed health care system is vital to our countrys and Googles well-being, prosperity, and strength. However, the board of directors opposes this proposal because the board does not believe that the adoption of this proposals principles advances a solution to health care issues or that Googles annual meeting is the proper forum for this important national policy debate. In addition, the board believes that it is not in the best interests of Google or its stockholders to be constrained by adopting the principles of a single organization as called for by this proposal. To do so would limit our effectiveness to work with a range of organizations regarding health care issues. Accordingly, we recommend that stockholders vote against this proposal.
We are committed to the health and well-being of Googlers and their families. We recognize that employee health has a direct relation to productivity and that providing health insurance enhances a companys ability to attract and retain employees. At the same time, we are keenly aware of the cost burden of providing quality health care to employees and have adopted as part of our competitive total pay and benefits package the goal of reducing employee health care cost trends, while maintaining quality and encouraging consumerism.
We have undertaken various initiatives on several fronts to address the issues of rising health care costs while ensuring quality health care for Googlers. Our strategy is to promote employee well-being by providing employees with the tools to manage their health care and live a healthy lifestyle, as well as to drive positive change within the health care marketplace and public policy in order to improve health care quality and efficiency. The following are examples of how we are working to improve employee health care:
Over the long term, we believe these initiatives will help our business and Googlers by enhancing employee well-being and productivity, as well as controlling health care benefit costs for employees and Google.