This excerpt taken from the GOOG DEF 14A filed Mar 24, 2009.
The Institute of Medicine, established by Congress as part of the National Academy of Sciences, issued five principles for reforming health insurance coverage in a report, Insuring Americas Health: Principles and Recommendations (2004). We believe principles for health care reform, such as those set forth by the Institute of Medicine, are essential if public confidence in our Companys commitment to health care coverage is to be maintained.
Access to affordable, comprehensive health care insurance is the most significant social policy issue in America according to polls by NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, the Kaiser Foundation and The New York Times/CBS News. In our opinion, health care reform also is a central issue in the presidential campaign of 2008.
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 (The New York Times, 8/31/07).
John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable (representing 160 of the countrys largest companies), has stated that 52 percent of the Business Roundtables 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 some of the 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 ten years of implementation.
We believe that the 47 million Americans without health insurance results in higher costs, causing an adverse effect on shareholder value for our Company, as well as all other U.S. companies which provide health insurance to their employees. Annual surcharges as high as $1,160 for the uninsured are added to the total cost of each employees health insurance, according to Kenneth Thorpe, a leading health economist at Emory University. Moreover, we feel that increasing health care costs further reduces shareholder value when it leads companies to shift costs to employees, thereby reducing employee productivity, health and morale.
This excerpt taken from the GOOG DEF 14A filed Mar 25, 2008.
The proposed Bylaw would establish a Board Committee on Human Rights which would review and make policy recommendations regarding human rights issues raised by the companys activities and policies. We believe the proposed Board Committee on Human Rights could be an effective mechanism for addressing the human rights implications of the companys activities and policies as they emerge anywhere in the world. In defining human rights, proponents suggest that the committee could use the US Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as nonbinding benchmark or reference documents.