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And your point is?
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bruce Ramsay's op/ed piece on Wal-Mart in the Seattle Times begins with a quote from a couple of Democratic politicians in Washington state:
Wal-Mart has been shifting its health-care costs to taxpayers, said state Rep. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma. "I think taxpayers should be outraged."

"It's corporate welfare," said state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.
Just out of curiousity, why should taxpayers be outraged? This is after all, precisely what the Democratic party has been arguing for for decades. For a half-century, Democrats have been arguing that what America really needs is a universal health-care system, funded by taxes. Indeed, the only reason why Wal-Mart employees are eligible for Medicaid in the first place is because Democrats made a push to amend Medicaid so that the working poor could get Medicaid benefits, even though they are employed.

So, it's a little silly to be complaining that Wal-Mart employees are using Medicaid benefits when the goal of the Democratic Party is ensure that everyone gets taxpayer-funded benefits.
 
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To someone from the UK, the idea that all companies have "healthcare costs" is crazy.

But then, the UK has the NHS, so who are we to talk?
 
Written By: Chez
URL: http://www.ucfro.org
Although I would not want to emulate the NHS, or the Canadian system. I fear that some sort of universal insurance is inevitable. If done correctly it might even be BETTER than the hodgepodge partially socialistic system we have now. It would of course have to include 1)medical savings accounts, 2)broad based basic coverage provided by a variety of insurers, 3)induvidual control over doctor choice, 4)Government reimbursement of part of the loss incurred by insuring those of high risk. 5) Get employers out of the business of providing care, but they cannot pocket the extra money, pass the health benifits costs on the the employee so he can pay for his care.

Granted its a hard pill to swallow, but ithink we are going to see some sort of nationalized medicene one way or the other, this sort of program would probably work better than what we have now.
 
Written By: Kyle N
URL: http://
I love the way people refer to communism and socialism as inevitable in this country. Most times it’s discussed without directly mentioning communism or socialism. It’s only inevitable if we, the American people, ALLOW it to be. When you talk about things like "Government reimbursement", you have to remember where the government gets its money. A more accurate description would be "We The People" reimbursement. One of the major problems in this country today is lack of personal responsibility. So many believe that others are responsible for their personal health and welfare. We, as a nation, have not only allowed this to happen, we have helped it along. There is no "Democratic Party" in this country. That’s just what the socialists call themselves to keep things calm. I wish the "government" would hurry up and pay my car insurance. This is, of course, just my opinion. I’m well aware that doesn’t make me right.
 
Written By: Alex
URL: http://
In fairness, the issue with Wal-Mart workers being dependent on Medicaid for health coverage is a problem. The issue really being, and please bear with the tortured metaphor, which is the egg and which is the chicken?

Is the government being forced by Wal-Mart to take up the slack that, due to obvious Corporate Greed, is being dumped at their doorstep? Alternatively, is Wal-Mart simply making a good business decision by taking advatage of an available, though arguably abused, government program to improve their bottom line? I am having a hard time laying the majority of blame on Wal-Mart for this situation.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Democratic hypocrisy? Is anyone REALLY shocked by this?
 
Written By: EdMcGon
URL: http://politicsandpigskins.blogspot.com/
That’s a fair argument, D... if you assume that people are forced to work at WalMart instead of where they want to work, and if you assume that people have a right to medical care without having to pay for it directly.

You ask if the government is being forced by WalMart to take up the slack. What leverage does WalMart have, in order to force the government to do this? It is using the government against itself, which is simply smart business. The government is forcing itself to "take up the slack".

Excellent insight on how to slice this turkey, Dale.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Well D, I remember 10 or so years ago when folks such as myself began to hear and discuss the problems of the "working poor." One of which was access to health care it was argued that the poor had trouble working AND finding heatlh care, oft times it was bruited that medical coverage was a DETERRENT to employment, after all one went to work AND LOST MediCaid or Medicare, and got nothing to replace it.

So it was urged that states and the Federal government(s) INCREASE the level at which they covered the working poor, to act as a bridge between government-provided health care and privately-porovided healthcare. This was done and NOW folks are complaining.

The "working poor" at Walmart are proof of the SUCCESS of that idea. They have jobs and health care, albeit government-provided health care. Walmart and its employees are living out the dream of poverty experts and NOW politicians are complaining. Why, because Wal-Mart is the bete noir of the Progressive/Liberal Front these days.

If this was 1996 and Bill Clinton President they’d be celebrating the success of their policies to provide healthcare coverage that "puts Americans to work."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Walmart is acting like a responsible business. I think the shareholders appreciate that.

Don’t most organizations pay the lowest possible amount of total compensation to any given employee?

Why blame Walmart for responding to the conditions in the labor market? Oh, I forgot, the politicians have to have someone to blame for their poor choices.


 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
"Wal-Mart has been shifting its health-care costs to taxpayers,"

Why is it Wal-Mart’s responsibility to provide anything to its employees? Don’t the employees have some responsibility to provide for their own health care? Anyway, from what I have read, they already do provide health insurance to full-time employees who want it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Wal-Mart has been shifting its health-care costs to taxpayers"

Typical thinking from those who believe in institutional paternalism.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Look at it this way, what Wal-Mart has "shifted to the taxpayers" (what a load) is more than made up for by the savings they allow families to gain by making such a plentiful supply of cheaper goods available daily.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
How many of WalMarts employees are seniors that are forced into Medicare/Medicaid? How many are welfare to work single parents? How many are handicapped? Aren’t all these people in Medicare/Medicaid regardless of employment status?
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Tom,

That depends upon the state, when you are talking about Medicaid, which sets the eligibility rules. Medicare is a horse of a different color.

In Alabama, for instance, you are *not* eligible for regular Medicaid if you make more than $100 a month and/or have qualifying assets above certain limits. To be eligible here, you must be the parent of a dependent child (different income rules), a pregnant woman (different income rules), disabled (different income rules), or via some other waivered program. Madicaid is a means tested program (still bad for long term recipients, and by long term I mean more than 6 months). Medicare is not means tested (Part A, that is...Parts B, C, and D are somewhat means tested).

Oh yeah, 25% or so of the Medicaid budget here goes to nursing home residents, which has another set of income/asset rules.
 
Written By: Charles D. Quarles
URL: http://spaces.msn.com/members/cdquarles/
Dale: there isn’t inconsitancy here. The issue is that under the current system and level of taxation, state medical care is underfunded and business are expected to pay for employee medical care. Changing to single payer means ensuring that the state medical care is sufficiently funded. The complaint against wal-mart is that right now they (employees and company and others) are not being taxed sufficiently for the medical care.

I know you disagree with that solution, but the argument itself is not inconsistant.

 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Tito, please examine my posting on Medicaid and Medicare and you will see that this IS inconsistent. The Federal/state government(s) acted to create this stae of affairs, in no small part. SO, it is INCONSISTENT to complain that the working poor are using Medicaid or Medicare when THAT’S WHAT WAS INTENDED.

Only now it’s a company that Evian-drinking, Volvo driving Pregressives don’t like that’s doing it and so it’s corporate welfare! Would it be corporate welfare if the Mom & Pop down the street paid a single working Mom $615 and she utilized the Federal/State medical assistance plan?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
ALEX, we already have socialized medicine of a sort here, So I guess I was right when I said it was inevitable. WHat I am talking about is getting out there in front of it and trying to steer it toward a market based approach.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Well gee Kyle, I pay for my own healthcare. I’m glad to hear the government is taking care of you. Just like I’m glad to hear the government is fixing up old New Orleans because of the hurricane the government caused.
 
Written By: Alex
URL: http://
Madicaid is a means tested program (still bad for long term recipients, and by long term I mean more than 6 months). Medicare is not means tested (Part A, that is...Parts B, C, and D are somewhat means tested).
 
Written By: slav
URL: http://allthemusic.siteburg.com

 
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