UPDATED: BMS Funded Anti-Reform Group But Its Execs Keep Health Coverage After Layoffs

Last Updated Aug 13, 2009 9:13 AM EDT

While Bristol-Myers Squibb funded DLA Piper, the lobby group behind connected to the anti-healthcare reform town hall disruptions, its top executives enjoy the kind of benefits the rest of us don't get: coverage that lasts three years after they quit or are laid off.

UPDATE: BMS retained DLA Piper in 2008 but not in 2009, according to the CRP's lobbying database. The company said:
The law firm, DLA Piper, is among the law firms retained by Bristol-Myers Squibb. However, Bristol-Myers Squibb has never retained Dick Armey. Further, Bristol-Myers Squibb has no connection whatsoever with an organization called Freedom Works.
For the insured, coverage stops almost as soon as you leave your job or are laid off. There are about 47 million Americans without access to healthcare at any one time. That's why Americans have to sleep overnight in parking lots in Los Angeles, or wait by the hundreds at county fairs to see a doctor in an animal stall in Tennessee.

But none of that lies in store for BMS' top execs. Even if they lose their jobs, BMS continues to fund their healthcare requirements as if nothing happened, according to this filing with the SEC.

Former CFO Andrew Bonfield (pictured), for instance, received these benefits when he left in 2008:
... severance payment ($1,923,332) and the cost of continuation of health care benefits ($23,736).
If BMS is bought or merged, and management is ousted executives get a "continuation of benefits for three years." The SEC filing calculates those benefits as being worth between $22,000 and $78,000 for each top exec.

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