Wal-Mart Endorses Mandated Healthcare for Business

Recently Wal-Mart sent a letter to President Obama endorsing mandated healthcare for companies[1]. Joining Wal-Mart in this endorsement were the presidents of Center for American Progress and Services Union Employees International Union.

Before getting into Wal-Mart’s motivation, we need to understand the other players supporting this mandate.

The Center for American Progress is a think-tank founded in 2003 by John D. Podesta a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton. They label themselves as a “Progressive” in the same vain as Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King. In addition, they support “delivering universal health care so that quality, affordable health services are available to all Americans.” The term progressive really means socialist.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a union that represents the following sectors as described on their website. http://www.seiu.org/our-union/

  • The largest healthcare union, with more than 1.1 million members in the field, including nurses, LPNs, doctors, lab technicians, nursing home workers, and home care workers
  • The largest property services union, with 225,000 members in the building cleaning and security industries, including janitors, security officers, superintendents, maintenance workers, window cleaners, and doormen and women
  • The second largest public services union, with more than 1 million local and state government workers, public school employees, bus drivers, and child care providers

On June 23, 2009, SEIU posted an article on their website [2] from a make believe organization and website called HAARM: Healthy Americans Against Reforming Medicine. This fictitious organization was created by SEIU. The writer of this article states…

“Obviously, HAARM isn't real, but the stuff they say in the video really does come straight out of the Republican playbook. And, with a debate as serious as reforming health care, taking your talking points from Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh is simply unacceptable.”

The video they are referring to is a parody of what they believe the opposing side says in reference to reforming healthcare. It is complete fabrication of the truth and without question a SEIU propaganda piece attempting to vilify anyone who opposes their view.


Obviously, SEIU supports the concept of mandated universal healthcare as demonstrated by their signature on this letter to President Obama. Furthermore, if you oppose it or want to have an honest debate, they will attack you as not supporting healthcare reform as demonstrated by their propaganda laden HAARM website.

In the letter that Wal-Mart sent to the President Obama they site all kinds of numbers and evidence supporting their position from various organizations. Many of these organizations support universal healthcare and are left leaning socialists.

The question is why would Wal-Mart get involve in this debate? One would think that they would have enough to do managing their business, unless they have another motive.

That motive is one of self-interest. If every employer had to contribute to a healthcare system, it would save Wal-Mart a lot of money. Their hope is that they would benefit from a cost savings by shifting burden to all employers. Wal-Mart stated, “the mandate will only work if it is accompanied by a government commitment to rein in health-care costs that is guaranteed.” Wal-Mart believes they would be able to reduce their healthcare costs. Another benefit not mentioned is that they would be able to retain more workers and even force some of their competitors out of business. Employee turnover is very costly to companies.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has “fought such a mandate, saying it would prompt companies to cut jobs, lower wages and possibly drive them out of business” in reference to mandated employer paid healthcare.

This is a real danger. Many employees do not understand the concept of employer paid benefits. Employer paid benefits, including the make believe split of Social Security is a myth!

You the employee are earning all wages and benefits. There is no such thing as employer paid!

Employers add up all of the costs of having an employee and this includes employer paid matches in Social Security or any other mandated program. Companies large or small evaluate the total cost of having an employee and adjust accordingly based on what revenue their business can generate. If they can charge more for their product or service in market and still be competitive, they have the ability to do more for their employees.

Those that cannot find that balance; they will go out of business.

When you look at recent census data [3] you will see that the majority of jobs are in companies that have fewer then ten employees. As matter of fact, 2.7 million jobs are with companies that have only four employees. Since the 1990’s sixty to eighty percent of all new jobs have been created by small business. A mandated healthcare plan would make it very difficult for many of these new businesses to even get started. It would require more money to get them started and would increase the failure rate as well. Already, 50% of new businesses fail in the first year and even a greater percentage after five years. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) cites lack of capital (money) as one the top reasons.

Ultimately, this will suppress wages or drive prices higher, both of which would have a negative affect on the economy.

“Wal-Mart's support of a broad-based employer mandate is a shift from its previous stance on health-care overhaul and follows years of tussles with organized labor, which has failed in drives to unionize Wal-Mart's store workers. Two years ago, Wal-Mart joined with the SEIU, the country's largest union, to call for affordable health care for all Americans by 2012. The group called for lowering health-care costs and insuring more Americans.”(WSJ July 1,2009 [4])

The fact is that Wal-Mart only provides about 52% of their 1.4 million employee’s healthcare coverage and seeks to shift the burden to everyone else in exchange for lower healthcare costs for themselves. Everyone hopefully knows that the larger your healthcare group the cheaper the rates will end up being. This would lead one to ask this question… Why Wal-Mart does not offer healthcare insurance to all of their employees? Wal-Mart recognizes they cannot offer a discount pricing structure to their customers and continue to pay the wages they do and offer healthcare coverage at the same time. Instead they seek a government bail-out called universal healthcare.

Universal healthcare is the first step towards nationalization our health system under the same guise as Social Security. This will put the control and power in the government’s hands. The patient will have no control over their healthcare. An argument often heard from the proponents of universal healthcare is that the patient has no control now, because healthcare insurance already sets limits.

This is not true, because if a person needs surgery they can go and get the procedure done and their insurance will cover it unless it is elective, such as cosmetic procedures. Your insurance will pay a percentage and you pay the remainder.

If you have no insurance, federal law prohibits denying you emergency care, which has been used to cover nearly everything. Under a universal healthcare plan, they will be forced to limit the number of procedures, which will create waiting lists similar to those found in countries with socialized medicine. For the first time, they will be able to deny care and more than likely spur a number of lawsuits against healthcare providers driving healthcare costs even higher, when denied care creates a progression of the disease, injury or ends in death.

There is no question healthcare is an issue, but what needs to happen is that the power and control needs to be put in the hands of patient. Insurance needs to reside with the patient not the employer or the government. A system that makes healthcare portable and in everyone’s hands is the best solution. Under the current system, insurance companies exclude large groups of people from insurance, because they do not belong to a group. Furthermore, competition is limited so market forces cannot drive costs down. What government should be doing is foster a system that promotes inclusion and self-control, not centralized control by the state.

No matter what you call it universal healthcare is moving this country towards socialized medicine. When the first measure fails, they will seek to take over the whole system of healthcare. They will use the failure as the basis for the argument for total take-over of our healthcare system. The reasoning will be a partially socialized healthcare system creates inconsistencies; we must control all aspects of the healthcare industry for benefit Americans. As long as the government is involved it cannot work and history has proven this out everywhere it has been tried.

Companies such as Wal-Mart would sell out the American people so they can profit in their businesses. These so-called leaders of business will never use a nationalized healthcare plan themselves. They will use their wealth and power to go around the system. Unions and other groups that support universal healthcare typically are not pro-business and suddenly find themselves aligned with one the largest companies, which should concern them. Whether they realize it or not universal healthcare would reduce their power and influence.

Maybe there is an upside to all this …. but, not really.

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