Yesterday, I noted that Koch Industries — the oil, chemicals, and manufacturing conglomerate that has also spent millions of dollars opposing health care reform — applied for federal dollars to bolster its early retiree program. Today, Julian Pecquet of Healthwatch lists other corporations who are accepting the law’s appropriations while funding efforts to repeal it. Pecquet conducted “a state-by-state review” of approved applicants and found that “more than a dozen members of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also been accepted into the program.” They include:
– Pfizer, PepsiCo, New York Life Insurance Company, Eastman Kodak and IBM of New York;
— Rolls-Royce North America, the Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Altria Group of Virginia;
— UPS and Southern Company of Georgia;
— John Deere and Navistar of Illinois;
— AT&T and the Fluor Corporation of Texas;
— U.S. Airways of Arizona;
— Entergy Services Inc. of Louisiana;
— The Dow Chemical Company of Michigan;
— Anheuser-Busch of Missouri;
— FedEx Express of Tennessee;
— CUNA Mutual Group of Wisconsin;
— Pepco Holdings Co. of Washington, D.C.
As Pecquet points out, “being members of the Chamber’s board of directors doesn’t mean the companies agree with all of its stances” (Pfizer supports the law), but it’s probably worth reiterating just how hard the Chamber has worked to scurry reform. “Over the past year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent nearly $3 million a week in opposition to President Obama’s major agenda items,” the Washington Post reported last month and poured close to $50 million into anti-reform television ads alone. Now, it plans to spend some $75 million trying to unseat Democrats who voted for the health care law all the while its board members profit from it.