Eli Lilly CEO Firmly Stands By Company's Pro-ObamaCare Lobbying at Shareholder Meeting
Rejects Shareholder's Appeal that Company Now Work for Free-Market, Constitutional Health Care Reforms
Indianapolis, IN / Washington, D.C. - Today, at Eli Lilly's annual shareholder meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the National Center for Public Policy Research questioned CEO Dr. John Lechleiter over his company's financial support for ObamaCare legislation, while suggesting he take a leadership role in advancing free-market, Constitutional measures to improve America's health care system.
"The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), of which Eli Lilly is a dues-paying member, and which Eli Lilly CEO Dr. Lechlieter currently chairs, dedicated $150 million for an advertising campaign to promote President Barack Obama's attempted health care takeover. Through its contributions, Eli Lilly directly supported the passage of ObamaCare," said National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof. "When I asked Dr. Lechleiter if Eli Lilly will pledge to 'reset' its approach and promote free-market reforms, he said he strongly stands by his company's support for ObamaCare even if not all the bill's provisions were perfect. He then offered the liberal talking point that it is unconscionable that there are 50 million Americans without health insurance."
The fate of ObamaCare now rests with the Supreme Court, and many legal observers predict all or key parts of the bill will be stricken as unconstitutional overreach.
With ObamaCare primed for a possible legal defeat, the National Center urged Lilly's top brass to consider free-market, constitutional solutions to America's health care challenges.
"It was disappointing to hear Dr. Lechleiter express liberal platitudes and say Lilly will continue to promote ObamaCare," said Danhof.
"Washington, D.C. is no longer controlled by one political party driven to force European-style health care on the American people," added Danhof. "I suggested to Lilly's CEO Dr. John Lechleiter that his company and other pharmaceutical companies now have an opportunity to hit the 'reset' button, reject their support for the big-government health care model and work with free-market groups and Congressional leaders such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for a health care system that works better for everyone and doesn't run the country into bankruptcy."
"After hearing Dr. Lechleiter's response, I am not optimistic that Eli Lilly is going to be a positive influence on the health care policy debate," added Danhof. "If the country continues down the big-government health care road, in a few short decades, companies such as Eli Lilly may well cease to exist. Worse, scientists working for them will no longer be conducting cutting-edge research to cure diseases. You don't, after all, hear of blockbuster new drugs that cure diseases coming from nations such as Britain and Canada with government-directed health systems. I was very disappointed that Eli Lilly has chosen this apparently suicidal path, and disappointed also that Eli Lilly refused to allow even a single polite follow-up question from shareholders."
"Dr. Lechleiter did say he agreed with congressional conservatives that ideas such as ObamaCare's Independent Payment Advisory Board are the wrong approach to fix health care. This is a position other pharmaceutical companies have taken," added Danhof.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is an Eli Lilly stockholder.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving approximately one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.