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On Oct. 29, 2003, President Bush reassured seniors that "corporations have no intention to what they call dump retirees" from their existing drug coverage after the Medicare bill passed. But according to the Wall Street Journal, the White House and its allies in Congress added "a little-noticed provision" to the law which rewards companies with a tax subsidy even if they reduce retirees' existing drug coverage. In effect, the provision creates a financial incentive to reduce retiree benefits.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the provision was pushed primarily by a group called the "Employers' Coalition on Medicare" – an organization made up of corporations that have given President Bush and the RNC more than $47 million since 2000. These same corporations stand to profit from the provision. And it appears at least 10 of them (representing tens of thousands of workers) are have either tried in the past or are trying to slash retiree benefits. These 10 companies, which include 3M, AT&T, Bank of America, DaimlerChrysler, GM, IBM, and Verizon, have alone given more than $17 million. Here is the breakdown of the contributions given to President Bush and his allies in Congress by all of the members of the "Employers Coalition" – contributions that no doubt helped buy this provision. For the official list of members of the "Coalition" please see their Web site at www.employersandmedicare.org.

These 10 companies, which are members of the "Employers Coalition on Medicare," have tried to seriously reduce health/drug benefits for their retirees. And because of their campaign contributions to the White House/Congress, they new Medicare bill insures they will now receive tax subsidies even as they continue to reduce those benefits.

3M Total Contributions: $347,305
3M Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $9,250
3M Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $165,305
3M Company PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $172,750

3M Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: According to the Austin Business Journal, Austin's 3M is now requiring employees and retirees to "shoulder more of the burden" for health care/drug benefits with its public relations manager admitting "we're asking them to pay more." [Source: Austin Business Journal, 11/29/02]

AT&T Total Contributions: $4,660,815
AT&T hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: N/A
AT&T soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $4,141,772
AT&T PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $519,043

AT&T Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: AT&T informed its retirees that current "company-paid health insurance benefits guaranteed to retirees were being canceled" and that any new coverage would cost far more. [Source: Baltimore Sun, 2/23/04]

Bank of America Total Contributions: $1,261,823
Bank of America hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $88,100
Bank of America soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $181,655
Bank of America PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $992,068

Bank of America Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "At Bank of America Corp., the liability for retiree health benefits rose by $69 million, to $1.1 billion, in 2003. But federal filings show that what the bank actually spent for these benefits in 2003 declined to $63 million from $84 million the year before, a 25% drop. Retirees' portion rose 27% to $62 million." [Source: Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]

DaimlerChrysler Total Contributions: $919,421
DaimlerChrysler hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $2,250
DaimlerChrysler soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $141,091
DaimlerChrysler PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $776,080

DaimlerChrysler Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: DaimlerChrysler is currently engaging in "efforts to increase employees' contributions and cut costs." [Source: AP, 3/18/04]

General Motors Corporation Total Contributions: $760,060
General Motors Corporation hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $92,050
General Motors Corporation soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $95,260
General Motors Corporation PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $572,750

General Motors Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "Automakers such as General Motors Corp. are making retirees pick up more of the tab" for health/drug coverage that they were promised. [Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/15/04]

IBM Total Contributions: $25,083
IBM hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $25,083
IBM soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
IBM PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

IBM Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "IBM retirees as a group saw their health-care premiums rise nearly 29 percent in 2003, on the heels of a 67 percent-plus increase in 2002. For IBM, with its caps in place, spending on retiree health care declined nearly 5 percent, after a drop of 18 percent the year before. The company confirmed that retirees' spending has risen as its own has fallen." [Source: Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]

Motorola Total Contributions: $635,764
Motorola hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $11,500
Motorola soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $305,839
Motorola PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $318,425

Motorola Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "Companies including Motorola Inc= have stopped covering new retirees." [Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/15/04]

SBC Communications Total Contributions: $4,087,981
SBC Communications hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $9,450
SBC Communications soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $1,762,206
SBC Communications PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $2,316,325

SBC Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: In March, 2004, SBC announced it "will begin charging retirees monthly premiums and higher fees for using medical care…The plan will save SBC $300 million to $600 million annually. Then, in May of 2004, executives at SBC "divulged plans to force 90,000 retirees and their families nationwide to pay significantly more for health care insurance." [Sources: Wichita Eagle 3/20/04; San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10/04]

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Total Contributions: $898,987
Sears, Roebuck and Co. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $21,450
Sears, Roebuck and Co. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $594,737
Sears, Roebuck and Co. PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $282,800

Sears Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "Sears is eliminating company-subsidized medical insurance for employees after retirement. Employees under 40 will have access to medical benefits at group rates when they retire but the company will no longer provide a subsidy. Employees who are 40 and older will continue to receive subsidized medical benefits at retirement, but the subsidy will be capped at 2004 levels." [Source: HR Focus, 4/2004]

Verizon Total Contributions: $3,882,181
Verizon hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $65,900
Verizon soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $2,100,923
Verizon PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $1,715,358

Verizon Reducing Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: "Verizon Communications stated it expects its obligation for post-retirement benefits to fall by $1.3 billion as a result of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit….Verizon is relieved of liability for promises to pay benefits for retirees now that liability shifts to the federal government and the taxpayers. A corporation improves its bottom line, but at the expense of the taxpayer and to the detriment of retirees." [Source: Allentown Morning Call, 3/24/04]

Aluminum Total Contributions: $4,000
Aluminum Association hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Aluminum Association soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $4,000
Aluminum Association PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

American Benefits Council Total Contributions: $40,456
American Benefits Council hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
American Benefits Council soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
American Benefits Council PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $40,456

American Chemistry Council Totally Contributions: $956,021
American Chemistry Council hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $2,000
American Chemistry Council soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $672,550
American Chemistry Council PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $281,471

The Business Roundtable Total Contributions: $0
The Business Roundtable hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
The Business Roundtable soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
The Business Roundtable PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

Cargill Total Contributions: $415,300
Cargill, Incorporated hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $69,100
Cargill, Incorporated soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $1,700
Cargill, Incorporated PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $344,500

Case New Holland, Inc. Total Contributions: $308,580
Case New Holland Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $6,000
Case New Holland Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $198,080
Case New Holland Inc. PAC money contributions to Republicans since 2000: $104,500

Caterpillar Inc. Total Contributions: $1,052,750
Caterpillar Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $8,250
Caterpillar Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $510,000
Caterpillar Inc. PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $534,500

Coors Brewing Company Total Contributions: $413,650
Coors Brewing Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $14,000
Coors Brewing Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $230,900
Coors Brewing Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $168,750

Corporate Health Care Coalition Total Contributions: $0
Corporate Health Care Coalition hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Corporate Health Care Coalition soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Corporate Health Care Coalition PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

Cummins Inc. Total Contributions: $24,000
Cummins Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Cummins Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $500
Cummins Inc. PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $23,500

Deere & Company Total Contributions: $714,500
Deere & Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $11,500
Deere & Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $255,250
Deere & Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $447,750

Delphi Corporation Total Contributions: $95,400
Delphi Corporation hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $13,000
Delphi Corporation soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Delphi Corporation PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $82,400

The Dow Chemical Company Total Contributions: $968,379
The Dow Chemical Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $23,200
The Dow Chemical Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $631,354
The Dow Chemical Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $313,825

Eastman Kodak Company Total Contributions: $401,044
Eastman Kodak Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $2,000
Eastman Kodak Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $239,741
Eastman Kodak Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $159,303

EDS Total Contributions: $715,852
EDS hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $22,250
EDS soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $368,512
EDS PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $325,090

Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative Total Contributions: $0
Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Employer Health Care Alliance PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) Total Contributions: $0
ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
ERISA PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

Financial Executives International Total Contributions: $0
Financial Executives International hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Financial Executives International soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Financial Executives International PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

Fisher Scientific International Inc. Total Contributions: $65,000
Fisher Scientific International Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Fisher Scientific International Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $20,000
Fisher Scientific International PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $45,000

Food Marketing Institute Total Contributions: $1,573,751
Food Marketing Institute hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $2,000
Food Marketing Institute soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $600,899
Food Marketing Institute PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $970,852

Ford Motor Company Total Contributions: $1,287,457
Ford Motor Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $71,000
Ford Motor Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $268,257
Ford Motor Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $948,200

General Dynamics Corporation Total Contributions: $2,009,315
General Dynamics Corporation hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $6,150
General Dynamics Corporation soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $571,704
General Dynamics Corporation PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $1,431,461

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Total Contributions: $430,100
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $3,000
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $50,000
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $377,100

Hewlett-Packard Company Total Contributions: $173,250
Hewlett-Packard Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $3,750
Hewlett-Packard Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $29,000
Hewlett-Packard Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $140,500

Honeywell International Total Contributions: $439,419
Honeywell International hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $7,500
Honeywell International soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $18,100
Honeywell International PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $413,819

HR Policy Association Total Contributions: $0
HR Policy Association hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
HR Policy Association soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
HR Policy Association PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

International Paper Company Total Contributions: $1,801,619
International Paper Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $21,000
International Paper Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $1,008,232
International Paper Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $772,387

Kellogg Company Total Contributions: $342,369
Kellogg Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $10,750
Kellogg Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $250,000
Kellogg Company PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $81,619

Lucent Technologies, Inc. Total Contributions: $222,415
Lucent Technologies, Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $14,415
Lucent Technologies, Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $27,000
Lucent Technologies, Inc. PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $181,000

Monsanto Total Contributions: $197,600
Monsanto hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $10,000
Monsanto soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $65,500
Monsanto PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $122,100

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association Total Contributions: $0
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

National Association of Manufacturers Total Contributions: $46,207
National Association of Manufacturers hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $3,000
National Association of Manufacturers soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $43,207
National Association of Manufacturers PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $0

National Mining Association Total Contributions: $718,435
National Mining Association hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $1,000
National Mining Association soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $126,050
National Mining Association PAC contributions to Republicans since 2000: $591,385

National Retail Federation Total Contributions: $404,876
National Retail Federation hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
National Retail Federation soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $212,126
National Retail Federation PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $192,750

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Total Contributions: $1,472,062
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $16,265
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $1,455,797

Peabody Energy Co. Total Contributions: $986,693
Peabody Energy Co. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Peabody Energy Co. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $760,595
Peabody Energy Co. PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $225,998

Pitney Bowes Total Contributions: $217,202
Pitney Bowes hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $3,250
Pitney Bowes soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $145,000
Pitney Bowes PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $68,952

PPG Industries, Inc. Total Contributions: $55,728
PPG Industries, Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $1,500
PPG Industries, Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
PPG Industries, Inc. PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $54,228

Printing Industries of America Total Contributions: $524,354
Printing Industries of America hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Printing Industries of America soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $92,198
Printing Industries of America PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $432,156

PSEG Total Contributions: $196,900
PSEG hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
PSEG soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $40,000
PSEG PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $156,900

RAG Total Contributions: $174,400
RAG American Coal Holding, Inc. hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
RAG American Coal Holding, Inc. soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $17,500
RAG American Coal Holding, Inc. PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $156,900

Raytheon Total Contributions: $1,288,270
Raytheon hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $15,350
Raytheon soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $392,785
Raytheon PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $880,135

Rohm and Hass Total Contributions: $80,601
Rohm and Haas hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $2,500
Rohm and Haas soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $4,300
Rohm and Hass PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $73,801

Southern Company Total Contributions: $1,709,478
Southern Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $44,800
Southern Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $1,162,428
Southern Company PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $502,250

Sprint Total Contributions: $908,628
Sprint hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $19,750
Sprint soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $442,778
Sprint PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $446,100

Texas Instruments Total Contributions: $166,490
Texas Instruments hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $25,950
Texas Instruments soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $40,500
Texas Instruments PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $100,040

The Timken Company Total Contributions: $929,272
The Timken Company hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $12,500
The Timken Company soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $671,772
The Timken Company PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $245,000

UPS Total Contributions: $4,593,296
UPS hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $14,270
UPS soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $1,438,210
UPS PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $3,140,816

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Total Contributions: $779,487
U.S. Chamber of Commerce hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
U.S. Chamber of Commerce soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $242,754
U.S. Chamber of Commerce PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $536,733

United States Steel Corporation Total Contributions: $175,234
United States Steel Corporation hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
United States Steel Corporation soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $5,000
United States Steel Corporation PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $170,234

Washington Business Group on Health Total Contributions: $0
Washington Business Group on Health hard money contributions to Bush since 2000: $0
Washington Business Group on Health soft money contributions to RNC since 2000: $0
Washington Business Group PAC money to Republicans since 2000: $0

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