December 15, 2017

As ObamaCare Fades, What’s the Future of American Health Care?

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Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Free Market Leader Plans to Question Pharmaceutical Giant Walgreens About Its Promotion of ObamaCare While Dumping Private Plans for its Employees

National Center for Public Policy Research Set to Ask Walgreens Executives Whether the Company is Willing to Support President Trump’s Plan to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare

New York, N.Y./Washington, D.C.  –  Less than two blocks from Trump Tower in New York City, at today’s annual meeting of Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholders, a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research plans to ask the pharmaceutical giant’s CEO – Stefano Pessina – about the company’s promotion of the Affordable Care Act while it simultaneously dropped health care coverage for many of its employees. Pessina will also be asked whether the company will work with President Donald Trump’s administration to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

“Walgreens is in a unique position when it comes to the American health care system.  As a leading pharmaceutical chain, it worked closely with the Obama Administration to promote the Affordable Care Act by having its employees help customers navigate the ObamaCare exchanges.  However, many of those same employees were dropped from the company’s private health care plan because of high compliance costs associated with ObamaCare.  This burdened more than 150,000 Walgreens employees with the rising costs of health care,” said National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who will attend today’s meeting in New York City.  “Walgreens should commit to covering the increased health insurance costs for its employees who lost their coverage.  The company should also seize upon the current political climate and work with the Trump Administration to improve health care choice and access while controlling costs.”

Beginning in 2014, Walgreens dropped 160,000 employees from its private health insurance plans and directed them to enroll in a health care exchange.  It was reported that this move was done, in part, because of high ObamaCare compliance costs.   This shifted the burden of potential higher future health-related insurance costs from the company to its employees.  While Walgreens apparently covered these costs in 2014, it is unclear what the company plans to do going forward.  That’s one question Danhof will ask Walgreens executives later today. 

“Walgreens employees are the face of the company.  It was rather duplicitous of company executives to ask their staff to push ObamaCare onto Walgreens customers while concurrently dropping them from the company’s health plan.  It appears that Walgreens employees, like so many other Americans, could not keep their plan if they liked their plan,” added Danhof.  “Walgreens employees got a bad deal.  The company choose to support ObamaCare, but decided it didn’t want to bear the brunt of increased health insurance costs.  Today, I am going to ask that the company to do right by its employees and pledge to cover these health care costs.  One way that the company might control costs is by working with the Trump Administration as they repeal and replace ObamaCare.” 

President Trump has already begun the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.  Last Friday, he issued an executive order requesting that federal agencies relieve the financial burdens of ObamaCare for the American people.  He also expressed a strong willingness to work with Congress on a large-scale repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.  Danhof plans to ask Walgreens executives whether the company will work with President Trump’s Administration as it implements a new health care agenda. 

“The opportunities for the large-scale reforms being sought by President Trump and his team are rare in Washington, D.C.  The President has shown a strong desire to work with American corporations to ensure quality American jobs and growth at home.  The health care sector is no exception,” said Danhof.  “Walgreens has a unique opportunity to help shape a better health care system for all Americans.  In doing so, it can amend for past support of ObamaCare and its top-down system that has harmed so many American families.”  

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholder. 

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in 89 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  Today’s Walgreens meeting marks the National Center’s first shareholder meeting of 2017. 

In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank.  Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations.  It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.  Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by NationalCenter staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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