Kaiser Permanente Refuses to Join Nearly 200 of Nation’s Largest Corporations in Pledge to Put Community Needs Before Profits
Healthcare Giant One of Only A Handful of Business Roundtable Members Refusing to Sign Landmark Statement
LOS ANGELES – In a move that’s raising eyebrows from workers and patients across the country, healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente is one of only a handful of the nation’s nearly 200- largest corporations that refused to sign an Aug. 19 “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” calling on companies to shift from making shareholders their main focus to including all of their stakeholders, including employees and the community.
In a Politico article, Kaiser Permanente said it didn’t sign the Business Roundtable pledge because it is a non-profit and doesn’t have shareholders, even though the statement focuses on broadening to all stakeholders. Two corporations without shareholders – Guardian Life and New York Life – did sign the statement.
“Kaiser’s refusal to sign the statement has nothing to do with being a non-profit and lacking shareholders,” said Hillary Distefano, a laboratory assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Berkeley, Calif. “It’s because Kaiser knows that a corporation with $35 billion in reserves, $5.2 billion in profits just this year, and a CEO who is paid $16 million a year could not sign such a statement with a straight face. Even though they are a non-profit they simply don’t believe in it.”