National Center for Public Policy Research press release

For Release: May 22, 2012
David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or [email protected], or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]


Merck Executives to be Questioned About Company Lobbying for Unpopular, Unconstitutional ObamaCare Legislation at Annual Shareholder Meeting Tuesday


Bridgewater, NJ / Washington, D.C. - The National Center for Public Policy Research plans to question Merck executives over the company's lobbying for the ObamaCare legislation Tuesday, May 22 at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof will ask Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier if his company is still committed to advancing European-style, big-government health care policies despite their sound rejection by the American people.

In light of the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down all or a key portion of ObamaCare, Danhof also plans to ask Frazier if his company has put any structure or review in place to ensure that it never again attempts to promote legislation that violates the Constitution of the United States.

Merck is a member of the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a lobbying organization that committed over $150 million to promote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - commonly known as ObamaCare.

At last year's shareholder meeting, National Center President and personal Merck shareholder David Ridenour asked Frazier how much of Merck's money had been spent lobbying for ObamaCare. Frazier refused to answer.

At the 2011 shareholder meeting, Danhof asked Frazier about the reputational risk Merck was suffering as a result of its lobbying for massive legislation held in low regard by the public, and shared the results of a joint National Center/FreedomWorks poll showing negative public attitudes toward corporate lobbying for ObamaCare.

Frazier ducked Danhof's question by sharing an anecdote about Democrats objecting to Merck's support of the Republican leadership's expansion of Medicare Part D, the "prescription drug benefit" bill, in 2003. Conservative organizations ardently opposed that expansion.

Frazier apparently intended his answer to demonstrate Merck's nonpartisanship, but he provided a reminder that Merck lobbied for big government even before ObamaCare was introduced.

Merck's stance on Obama's signature health care law may harm the company's reputation and its bottom line. A recent Rasmussen Report poll shows that 54 percent of likely voters favor repeal of the entire law. And two-thirds of Americans oppose ObamaCare's cornerstone - the individual mandate.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a Merck 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 two percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.


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