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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:29 PM

Walmart's New Health Care Policy Shifts Burden To Medicaid, Obamacare

Source: Huffington Post


Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, plans to begin denying health insurance to newly hired employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, according to a copy of the company’s policy obtained by The Huffington Post. Under the policy, slated to take effect in January, Walmart also reserves the right to eliminate health care coverage for certain workers if their average workweek dips below 30 hours -- something that happens with regularity and at the direction of company managers.

Walmart declined to disclose how many of its roughly 1.4 million U.S. workers are vulnerable to losing medical insurance under its new policy. In an emailed statement, company spokesman David Tovar said Walmart had “made a business decision” not to respond to questions from The Huffington Post and accused the publication of unfair coverage.

Labor and health care experts portrayed Walmart’s decision to exclude workers from its medical plans as an attempt to limit costs while taking advantage of the national health care reform known as Obamacare. Among the key features of Obamacare is an expansion of Medicaid, the taxpayer-financed health insurance program for poor people. Many of the Walmart workers who might be dropped from the company’s health care plans earn so little that they would qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, these experts said.

“Walmart is effectively shifting the costs of paying for its employees onto the federal government with this new plan, which is one of the problems with the way the law is structured,” said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/01/walmart-health-care-policy-medicaid-obamacare_n_2220152.html

44 replies, 6143 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Walmart's New Health Care Policy Shifts Burden To Medicaid, Obamacare (Original post)
onehandle Dec 2012 OP
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #1
savalez Dec 2012 #9
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #27
davidpdx Dec 2012 #34
CindyinIndy Dec 2012 #2
high density Dec 2012 #3
Blasphemer Dec 2012 #5
LiberalEsto Dec 2012 #4
SoapBox Dec 2012 #6
Panasonic Dec 2012 #7
groundloop Dec 2012 #8
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #10
jwirr Dec 2012 #11
alp227 Dec 2012 #12
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #13
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #14
mwooldri Dec 2012 #21
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #39
mwooldri Dec 2012 #22
freshwest Dec 2012 #15
ReasonsVoice Dec 2012 #16
christx30 Dec 2012 #17
AndyTiedye Dec 2012 #20
christx30 Dec 2012 #25
Skittles Dec 2012 #33
christx30 Dec 2012 #41
Skittles Dec 2012 #42
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #40
LineLineLineLineNew Reply .
Skittles Dec 2012 #43
obxhead Dec 2012 #18
PSPS Dec 2012 #23
JimDandy Dec 2012 #26
nenagh Dec 2012 #31
Skittles Dec 2012 #32
JustAnotherGen Dec 2012 #38
ReRe Dec 2012 #19
cstanleytech Dec 2012 #24
Politicub Dec 2012 #28
deathrind Dec 2012 #29
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #30
Blandocyte Dec 2012 #36
Pterodactyl Dec 2012 #44
rks306 Dec 2012 #35
Blandocyte Dec 2012 #37

Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:38 PM

1. NEW health care policy?!? They've been shifting the burden to the states

and now ObamaCare, since I can remember.

The only "new" aspect of this is, there's an ObamaCare. Otherwise, it's just business as usual for this anti-American, anti-patriotic employee-mill of a corporation.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:44 PM

9. No shit. Who's barely figuring this out?

There's a documentary on Walmart that disclosed this years ago. The only difference now is the AHCA is in existence.

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Response to savalez (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:26 AM

27. You'd be surprised.

I'm astonished how many people don't know this even today. I've known this ever since the late 90's when the Welfare to Work program was implemented and my friend, a mother of two young children back then, was forced to get a job or lose her benefits. Her first job was Wal-Mart. I thought she would be happy, but then she told me she would be making minimum wage, needed a car, and that they'd given her applications for MediCal! Their insurance was too expensive and the income she would make at Wal-Mart (as they got generous tax benefits for hiring Welfare to Work people) was so low that she would be eligible for MediCal. They had stacks of the applications right there on the desk during her interview!

Unfuckingbelievable.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:26 AM

34. Yep, nothing particularly new except they are trying to shirk their responsibility on to the new

healthcare plan. I had an argument with someone a few days ago that (I believe) works at Wal-Mart. My sister, who doesn't really pay attention much to issues also chimed in and agreed with me (surprising given we have a fights on Facebook and don't talk to each other for a year).

I think with the employees coming forward and stating they are not being given a living wage or healthcare, it's time to put a massive amount of pressure on Wal-Mart. Pinch the damn thing until it pops like a pimple. Puss and all.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:40 PM

2. What a bunch of assholes!

Wish I never had to go to that awful place again!

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:41 PM

3. So the biggest private employer is saying we need single payer socialized medicine

Let's get right on that, shall we? It will be great for businesses and people alike.

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Response to high density (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:57 PM

5. That's what it sounds like to me

I think I actually like this turn of events. Public support for "socialized medicine" will only increase with corporate moves such as this one.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 01:46 PM

4. The U.S. government ought to send them a bill

but of course that won't happen. Having America's taxpayers bear the burden of caring for Walmart workers is one of Walmart's "entitlements".

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:02 PM

6. "Walmart declined to disclose how many of its roughly 1.4 million U.S. workers are vulnerable to...

medical insurance..."

SO...they are spinning BULLSHIT!

When the DECLINE to answer, then it's all bullshit.

What a SCUM company.

Dems...best get the Single Payer system ready to run!!!!

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:23 PM

7. There should be a mandatory tax on the owners and heirs of Walmart.

 

to offset their greed, and pays directly what the workers gets in government benefits.

It's only fair.


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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:43 PM

8. I suppose this is one way to move toward single payer healthcare

WalMart, considering the huge profits they make, ought to step up and do the right thing for their employees. Given their history of greed this move is not at all surprising. As someone else pointed out, at least we now have ObamaCare and an expanded Medicaid system for those employees who get screwed by their employers.

I remember several years ago when GM was in contract talks, some people I knew who worked at GM told me that GM indicated to them that one reason they couldn't pay them more was because they were competing with foreign companies who had national healthcare. Well maybe, just maybe, this show of greed by WalMart will be one more step toward our own national health insurance for all.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:57 PM

10. And how many of those states are effectivelyalready bankrupt? 30 something n/t

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:14 PM

11. I know this is true but we need to acknowledge that there are a lot of businesses - especially

small businesses that have a lot of employees who use Medicaid. And that has been true for years.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:17 PM

12. NO MORE WAL-FARE. nt

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:22 PM

13. A business decision?

No. The refusal to talk to reporters about anything amounts to a political decision.
You have just stated that the American people have no right to know the truth about your organization from your own lips.
Your silence harbors a thousand lies of omission.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:26 PM

14. Walmart argues for comprehensive national health insurance.

Labor and health care experts portrayed Walmart’s decision to exclude workers from its medical plans as an attempt to limit costs while taking advantage of the national health care reform known as Obamacare.


Yes, I know they're too stupid to understand the import of their policies, but the message is clear.
Limit and re-structure the private health insurance industry towards people who can afford it, allow the coverage of plastic surgery and athletic medicine.
For the rest, Medicare, single payer, part E. Period.
In most of the nations of the world, employers don't provide the health care or insurance.
These things are part of the social contract between people & nation.
Now it's time for this reality to be implemented here.


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Response to burnsei sensei (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:26 PM

21. Thus, Walmart are also arguing for extra expenses.

Base it somewhat on the Social Security "Tax". Employer _and_ Employee would pay more, though I would consider for employee to be able to have X amount of gross income more than now before Social Security "Tax" would kick in. I'd rather call Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid for what I believe it is - National (Federal) Insurance. Get some nifty branding - call it Amerisure - replacing SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, and setting up single payer health insurance as one single bundle. I'd even include SS Plus - an option where people can pay more in, and get a larger "Amerisure Retirement Check" as opposed to plopping money into a 401k and praying.

Of course Walmart can cut costs because it is so big. Imagine a single federal healthcare system... like the NHS in the UK but call it "American Health Service"... it'd be bigger than Walmart! An "American Health Service" done NHS style could become the worlds' biggest employer - after all the NHS is about the 4th to 7th largest employer in the world... in a country of 60-ish million people. I could even argue if the feds provide the services direct then the present Medicare budget can provide healthcare to everyone, the Medicaid budget could be eliminated, and the budget for VA healthcare can also be cut quite a fair bit because of duplication with the American Health Service. States would be relieved of a lot of the burden too because their costs would be cut drastically.

However this is a dream, America would never adopt anything this radical, most likely instead go down a more Canadian path and achieve similar results.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:39 AM

39. Interesting points

Get some nifty branding - call it Amerisure - replacing SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, and setting up single payer health insurance as one single bundle. I'd even include SS Plus - an option where people can pay more in, and get a larger "Amerisure Retirement Check" as opposed to plopping money into a 401k and praying.


I believe that the FICA tax must be paid by everyone who works, even if they work for only one week or one day in their lives. I'm sick of certain institutions dealing to get out of paying it. Everyone must pay because I believe in a national compact. The nation is not fairy dust. It is real.
I was very suspicious when 401Ks became part of public dialogue in the 1990s. My chief suspicion was that they were useless because they were tied entirely to market forces, and therefore, fickle in their benefits.
It's like putting all your potential retirement money into a slot machine. Everyone naively thought that markets were sure, stable and reliable.
They are, for only part of the time.
If you desire a merciless world, place your faith in markets and production.
If you have made any social commitment at all, create structures that undermine the powers of the market to create or ignore human misery.

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Response to burnsei sensei (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:30 PM

22. And Walmart thus are arguing for higher "taxes" (whilst eliminating health care costs).

Base it somewhat on the Social Security "Tax". Employer _and_ Employee would pay more, though I would consider for employee to be able to have X amount of gross income more than now before Social Security "Tax" would kick in. I'd rather call Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid for what I believe it is - National (Federal) Insurance. Get some nifty branding - call it Amerisure - replacing SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, and setting up single payer health insurance as one single bundle. I'd even include SS Plus - an option where people can pay more in, and get a larger "Amerisure Retirement Check" as opposed to plopping money into a 401k and praying.

Of course Walmart can cut costs because it is so big. Imagine a single federal healthcare system... like the NHS in the UK but call it "American Health Service"... it'd be bigger than Walmart! An "American Health Service" done NHS style could become the worlds' biggest employer - after all the NHS is about the 4th to 7th largest employer in the world... in a country of 60-ish million people. I could even argue if the feds provide the services direct then the present Medicare budget can provide healthcare to everyone, the Medicaid budget could be eliminated, and the budget for VA healthcare can also be cut quite a fair bit because of duplication with the American Health Service. States would be relieved of a lot of the burden too because their costs would be cut drastically. I guess more money to spend on guns, the military and such... but then the military budget can also be cut too as health care expenses can be cut down, and make it so civilians would use military medical facilities too (as appropriate).

However this is a dream, America would never adopt anything this radical, most likely instead go down a more Canadian path and achieve similar results.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:23 PM

15. Assbackwards, as usual. Time to unionize and take responsibility for your workforce, Wally!

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:03 PM

16. It's in response dammit!

 

Can't you guys figure this out that these businesses can't afford to put all these workers into Obamacare! The requirement for them to do it is to raise prices to make up for it! So either the workforce is limited, or the workforce must pay more for their products. Either way, it equals out!

This isn't hard! Obamacare is CONSTANTLY coming up more and more expensive, and is putting more and more stress on businesses! If you care to research, Obamacare is more expensive than most premiums now. If it isn't, it's because your employer is suffering for it. So don't you dare start yelling how it's so unfair when you refuse to look beyond yourself and to how they can't afford to put you on healthcare anymore.

For God's sake! LOOK AT EUROPE AND CANADA! They are suffering for their healthcare! Their doctors only work on certain days. I know in France and Italy, they only do hip replacements on Tuesdays, so if you have an emergency you're boned! No exceptions!

In Canada, you need to schedule an appointment 8 months or longer in advance, not to mention hospital service is terrible! My mother was out of there in only a couple of days for what should be a two week stay, and was put back into there just as fast!

Sure, I was born in the US, but my family is Canadian, I KNOW what national healthcare does with a country that is more than half against it now! Please for your own sakes, wake up!!! NOTHING is free!

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:53 PM

17. This is why I'm against

Obamacare. It's requirements are intrusive and expensive. Employers are going to continue to find ways of getting around it. They are going to fire people and cut hours to stay under the 30 hour wire so they don't have to add to the cost of their doing business. You're not going to get anyone health care like that. You're just going to make people struggle more. I'm working 40 hours a week right now and I have heath care. But someone working fast food or retail isn't going to have that luxury. I was against Obamacare from the beginning. This is really going to hurt people as businesses will do everything they can to stay profitable.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:19 PM

20. You Consider Health Care a Luxury?!

I'm working 40 hours a week right now and I have heath care. But someone working fast food or retail isn't going to have that luxury.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:09 AM

25. I may have said it wron

But it did seem like a luxury during the 5 years between my last good job and my current one. During 2 years of that time, I had gall bladder disease and I had horrible pain and they wouldn't do surgery on me. Had my gall bladder taken out 24 hours after my insurance kicked in.
But if I was at Walmart, I'd care more about getting hours and being able to pay rent than having insurance. And Walmart is going to keep everyone at 29 hours or less because they don't want to hurt their bottom line. People are going to end up working 2 or 3 jobs to make up for what they aren't getting at Walmart. People and businesses are going to do what they want to do. You pass a law, and a business is going to find a way around it. People that work 30+ hours a week get health care? Work someone 28 hours a week, hire a second person for 20 hours a week and/or pay the fine. It'll cost you less in the long run.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 04:38 AM

33. do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

WALMART makes BILLIONS in profits but RIGHT NOW forces its workers to use public services - THAT is their "bottom line" - WE ALREADY PAY FOR HEALTHCARE FOR WALMART EMPLOYEES

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Response to Skittles (Reply #33)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 04:59 PM

41. And Walmart doesn't care

about their workers. I don't mind paying for the health care. But with the insurance requirements, they are going to (and have already started) cutting hours to keep everyone under threshold for providing insurance. People that are making jack nothing are getting their paychecks gutted. It'd be better for them if the requirement wasn't there at all, so they could be working full time. Hopefully they can get better jobs away from Walmart.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:36 PM

42. you don't seem to get it

your argument is THE best argument for SINGLE PAYER

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Response to christx30 (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:48 AM

40. A luxury?

But someone working fast food or retail isn't going to have that luxury.


My husband was a security guard, working for seven dollars an hour.
He had no health insurance.
He could afford no health insurance or care.
He became ill, and the cancer was insidious. He could not afford the screenings and other procedures that would have evened his chances against it. And so time passed, I cried, and nothing was done.
He was not responsible for his employer's refusal to cover him.
He was not responsible for health care costs!
Even in the early stages of the disease, he was in no condition to SHOP AROUND!
By the time he was cared for, he was at stage 4, terminal; he did not get care until he COLLAPSED!
Were the screenings and health maintenance and examinations, the treatments, luxuries?
Really?
I have never forgotten how my husband suffered. His growing emaciation, his terrible pain, the wasting of his organs, and the anxiety of my children are all things engraved in acid on my consciousness. If you claim he was demanding a luxury, or that his life depended on a luxurious commodity reserved only to the rich, then truly, you have made peace with Satan.
Are patients responsible for the upward pressure on health care costs?
I think not.

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Response to burnsei sensei (Reply #40)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:37 PM

43. .



so sorry burnsei sensei

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:33 PM

18. Do you have any reference material to back up your claims?

I won't hold my breathe. My Canadian, French, and British friends all love their HC systems and wouldn't trade them for any private run for profit system.

Walmart is making a calculated move here following DECADES of consistent policy. Shifting the HC burden onto taxpayers to further maximize their own profits.

The FACT is Walmart could afford to provide health insurance for every single one of their workers and remain extremely profitable.

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:39 PM

23. LOL. Pizza time?

That's right, Canada is "a country that is more than half against" their national healthcare. Never mind that polls show over 80% of Canadians prefer it. I guess they're "skewed" polls, eh? European polls are about the same or higher. I guess they don't mind "only getting hip replacements on Tuesdays" or "scheduling an appointment 8 months in advance." Unless, of course, that's not true.

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:17 AM

26. Go back to the pizza oven from whence you came.

You are so full of it. EVERY Canadian, German and British person I've ever known LOVED their country's health care systems. They couldn't understand why we put up with the US system of health care. Well... no more. Thank goodness for Obamacare.

Oh..He's gone now.

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 04:03 AM

31. I live in Ontario...and what you write does not reflect the Health care system ...

as I experience it...



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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 04:35 AM

32. LOL

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Response to ReasonsVoice (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:15 AM

38. on Italy

You are full of shit. My mother in law had her hip Surgery three weeks ago - on a Saturday.

Can you please retract that lie that Sean Hannity told you and you are spewing here?

Thanks. Happy Sunday. If you are a Christian - you just broke a commandment. Go get right with God.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:49 PM

19. Whoever made up that title should be fired....

..... Who could possibly look at this as a legitimate factual article with a misleading title like that? Doesn't everyone on this planet know by now that WM is the biggest welfare queen of all time? There's nothing new here...except maybe the taxpayer will pay more now that ACA will kick in in 2014 in full force. And that they are going to be sure that the USG pays more by reducing everyone to part-time hours (like under 25-30 hours a week). Read between the lines, folks. This is another (and actually the largest) low-wage employer making it's announcement of retaliation against its employees, like Papa John's, et. al.

It's truly diabolical. When the labor struggles of the past occurred, they fought for 40 hours a week, because they were overworked. Now, they won't let them work 40 hrs a week so they won't have to provide benefits. Workers always come out on the short end of the stick now. it's evil, I tell you. Downright evil. It's hard to believe this is America. Vulture capitalism sucks.

I hope their employees keep organizing and eventually attain union representation.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:19 PM

24. Solution!! Add a new tax to companies with more than 30 employees pay a higher

rate if they have more than 20% of their workforce working only part time and it increases by 1% for every 1% over the 20% with no cap.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:32 AM

28. Time to amend the ACA to require employers with part time employees to pay

For their health insurance, if it's an employer like Walmart with hundreds of part time employees.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:39 AM

29. Nothing new here...

Wal-Mart- has been shifting costs to tax payers for years thru the practice of low wages and keeping employees under a certain amount of weekly hours.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:45 AM

30. I just want to say, DUer Mike_C nailed this like Nostrodamus 3 years ago:

I believe the Senate bill will be the end of employer provided insurance as well....

I'm seeing more and more articles like this as time goes on and I am reminded of his fearful prediction.

It's coming true.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:40 AM

36. Thanks for that

It's good to see those thoughts from '09. Personally, I've been too blissed out over the humiliating defeat of the Rs, including the loss of humongous sums of bucks by their supporters, to settle down yet and do some serious and critical thinking about ramifications of AHCA. Also, there is so much growling from the folx who have big biz's interests at heart that separating an honest critique from the propaganda is tough.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 PM

44. Wow. He nailed it. I wish more people had thought of stuff like this before the law passed.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:31 AM

35. Why

The freeloaders must be made to get off governments back. There must be some way to make them pay. Higher taxes on Walmart sounds like a good idea. They're using the public commons without paying for it.

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Response to rks306 (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:44 AM

37. Maybe offer a choice

They can provide health care insurance benefits or pay higher taxes. A tax break on the $ that goes toward employee health insurance benefits? Hmmm...

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