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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Message Board

  • kibblebrain kibblebrain Sep 22, 2005 3:55 PM Flag

    Welfare Queen

    allahassee, Fl. Lawmaker Calls Wal-Mart �Welfare Queen.�

    Watch your wallet, Wal-Mart is in town. The giant retailer has a giant appetite for subsidies, and nothing satisfies like a big fix of Medicaid health care for its �associates.� This week one more welfare-to-riches study was released of Wal-Mart workers on taxpayer supported health care. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, Wal-Mart has 12,300 employees getting Medicaid health care. That�s 13% of their 92,312 employees in Florida. That high rate of Medicaid users prompted one Florida state legislator to hang the label �welfare queen� on Wal-Mart�s shoulders. In an editorial published in the Tallahassee Democract, Rep. Susan Bucher (D- West Palm Beach) charged that Wal-Mart �deliberately cuts corners on employee health care, forcing a disproportionate number of its employees into state programs in order to receive health care for themselves and their families.� Bucher said that, �In Florida, Wal-Mart has 91,000 employees. Every time an uninsured Wal-Mart worker goes to the ER and can't afford to pay for treatments, all Floridians are picking up the bill. Meanwhile, our Medicaid system is in crisis.� She argues that Medicaid is a budget-buster in Florida, costing taxpayers more than $14 billion a year. �To the extent that Medicaid is in crisis,� Rep. Bucher writes, �Wal-Mart is a significant part of the problem.� Five employers in Florida account for 29,000 Medicaid-eligible individuals (employees or dependents). Wal-Mart's share represents 42% of that group. Similar statistics were researched in Georgia, where children of Wal-Mart employees made up over 10,000 of those on Georgia's health-care program for uninsured kids, the PeachCare for Kids program. Similar reports from West Virginia, Massachusetts and other states have already been reported in Newflash. Rep. Bucher claims that at a recent Wal-Mart PR fest in Arkansas, CEO Lee Scott told reporters that some Wal-Mart workers may favor Medicaid to his company�s health care, because, �In some of our states, the public program may actually be a better value - with relatively high income limits to qualify, and low premiums." Bucher notes that Medicaid is a safety net program, not a substitute health care plan for a company that made $10 billion in profits last year, and can certainly afford to buy decent health care coverage for the people who made that profit possible. �Scott is admitting that Wal-Mart takes advantage of public health programs for its own competitive ends.� Bucher writes. �It passes costs onto taxpayers as a business strategy - not as an unfortunate consequence of some heretofore unrealized deficiency in its health-care program�Scott acts as though public programs are a better deal for workers, when really they're simply a better deal for Wal-Mart. It's not that Wal-Mart can't afford to do better. It's that Wal-Mart chooses not to.�

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    • and walmart steals from the government every day

    • So what's your point? There still is no excuse for our nations largest employer to have its employees as the largest nonpublic user of medicaid.

      What spin, just plain, straight truth.

    • mmmm some of these are union shame on you

    • Now we have some real facts, thank you.

    • johnnnyrotten, should be Jonnnyspinsalot
      Really other who want to consider without Predigest the health care situation.
      Note Walmart who has the most but also employs the most, but also note the union shops and others. The problem is high health care costs, the solution is NOT legislation to help pay it, this will only encourage higher bills from health care providers. More doctors, fewer-lower court awards, regulation of drug companies, THESE are the solutions

      New Jersey Policy Perspective (August) reports that NJ FamilyCare, a state-funded program to provide health coverage to low-income people working at small companies, has wound up helping people who work at big, prosperous companies.

      Four of the state's 10 largest employers have workers in the program: Wal-Mart/Sam's Club, Home Depot, Wakefern Food/ShopRite and A&P.

      Wal-Mart/Sam's Club is No. 1, with more employees and employees' family in the health program than any other employer. Wal-Mart recently had 589 FamilyCare participants; in second place was Home Depot, with 335.

      New Jersey has provided 44 percent of the funds for the program, the federal government 53 percent and enrollees the rest.

      According to the report, Wal-Mart does offer health insurance but with long waiting periods and high premiums.

      In other states, too, the Policy Perspective reports, Wal-Mart employees and their families dominate state health-insurance programs.

      The report asks: Are "employers -- including some of the largest and most profitable -- turning over to taxpayers the cost of providing health insurance to workers and their families?"

      If one looks at the industry where FamilyCare participants come from, No. 1 is health care (17.4 percent) -- hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities and so forth. Retail is second (13.0 percent), then comes food service (9.2 percent), which includes restaurants, bakeries, and liquor stores.

      Among businesses with 100 or more FamilyCare participants were Pathmark, Target, Macy's, Kmart, McDonald's, CVS, Stop & Shop and the U.S. Postal Service. 90308/1103

    • No isn't here, we have a Costco. A much better run company, with much better products and prices.

    • % shouldn't matter the total is the true test of the largest users. The % is just a statistic, just a way to cloud the issue. The fact lies in the total number with is specific and exact.

      How many other fortune 100 comapnies do you see on that list? I certainly don't see any in the top 50.

    • Look again WMT is in your town more than likely.

    • I quess you gave up. It's sure easy to spin the simple minds of Wal-Mart longs.

      Remember Support America and American taxpayers, avoid Wal-Mart. Shop around, support your town.

    • So just because the gov health program is better than what WMT can offer it is WMTs fault. Like I stated before Gov aid is based on gross income compared to how many family members you have. WMT does not make you take their medical plan it is offered an if some of the associates chose the Gov plan over the WMT plan then maybe the Gov needs to make some changes. Give people a choice an they will choose what ever is best for them.

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