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Will WalMart and McDonalds be forced to buy Health Insurance for their employees?

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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:43 AM
Original message
Will WalMart and McDonalds be forced to buy Health Insurance for their employees?
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 07:43 AM by Junkdrawer
Why isn't this being talked about? Seems like a biggie to me...

Finance Committee Senators May Drop Employer Mandate, Public Plan

Senate Finance Committee members negotiating a sweeping health care reform package are close to dropping a requirement that employers provide health insurance for employees as well as a government-run public insurance plan to forge a compromise, The Associated Press reports. "After weeks of secretive talks, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee were edging closer to a compromise that excludes a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite Obama's support for such a plan, officials said."

Senate leaders "stressed that no agreement has been reached on a bipartisan measure, and said there is no guarantee of one, with numerous key issues remaining to be settled. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss matters under private negotiations." They also said any resulting legislation would likely "provide for a nonprofit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace. Officials also said a bipartisan compromise in the Senate would not subject large companies to a penalty if they declined to offer coverage to their workers. Instead, these businesses would be required to reimburse the government for part or all of any federal subsidies designed to help lower-income employees obtain insurance on their own" (Espo and Werner, 7/28).

The New York Times provides more details about the ongoing negotiations: "Members of the group said they had discussed a proposal to impose a new excise tax on health insurance companies that sell policies worth much more than the national average. The average employer-sponsored insurance plan has a premium of about $5,000 for individual coverage and $13,000 for family coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said the Finance Committee proposal would affect not just 'gold-plated Cadillac' plans costing $40,000 a year. Instead, Ms. Snowe said, senators might draw the line 'in the vicinity of $25,000'" (Hulse and Pear, 7/27).

The Washington Post: The Finance Committee "could prove to be a critical road map for attracting the few GOP votes needed for a bill's passage in the Senate, as well as for rallying support among conservative House Democrats who are worried about regional disparities in Medicare payments to health-care providers and a large tax on the wealthy to finance the legislation" (Kane, 7/28).

...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159137.php
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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. not according to this article you posted. what's your point?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. My point is that the HUGE issues of Health Care reform are being ignored..
in favor of insane distractions like "Will the government kill Grandma?"
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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. well then, start the conversation that way. and post better articles...
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
29. yep
Distract the masses with bologna and mandate underpaid workers have insurance with no recourse is what it is looking like to me.

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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. I believe both companies have health insurance available to their employees now.
Unfortunately, it's not affordable for the employees to buy at the measly wages they're paid.
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kdmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Not to mention that most of the non-managerial employees
are given 33.5 hours a week or something similar so that they are not eligible for benefits (but still make too much for Medicaid).
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Good point. It's the age of the part time worker.
3 part time jobs to survive, no benefits.
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malletgirl02 Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. That is insane
The employees only need 6.5 hours to be full time. It is crazy how some companies nickle and dime their employees.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Wal-Mart has even quietly advocated for a government plan; they know better than most
how much it will save them.Target has too--both seem to be doing rather well so I think (like them or not) their bigwigs know what they are talking about.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sadly it looks more and more like I'm going to be right on this one
That the only major "reform" we'll get out of this bill is a mandate, enforced by fines, that everybody have a private insurance plan. No mandates for employers, no public option, just a government mandated monopoly set up by Obama and Congressional Dems.

Perhaps that will wake people up to the fact of the two party/same corporate master system of government that we live under.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. It will be passed, ballyhooed as a great step forward...
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 07:58 AM by Junkdrawer
and then reality will set in.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. And the Twirly Eyed True Believers will insist that that big pile of shit
is actually chocolate fudge and anyone who doesn't want to eat a big plate of it probably has a picture of Sarah Palin in their locker.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. 'Twirly Eyed True Believers'
:spray:
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. Is forcing companies to buy health insurance the same as a company
offering health insurance for the employee to buy at a group discount rate?

If comapanies are "forced to buy" insurance, then the next step may well be forcing them to provide transportation to/from work - if the employee can't get to the job site, he cannot work.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Individuals will be forced to buy insurance....
Do you have any problems with that? :shrug:
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Here is the question from the OP - "Will Walmart and
McDonalds be forced to buy Health Insurance for their employees?"

Now, my question was straightforward - will forcing companies to buy health insurance for their employees the same as those companies offering insurances at a group rate discount.

One suggests offering insurance as an option, while the other suggests mandating companies provide that insurance at no cost to the employee.

I have a problem with the latter, but not the former. The plan offered by the company, as an option to purchase, would probably be lower than a plan negotiated individually by the employee.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Do you think there should be an employer contribution of, say, 50%...
or do you think that offering up your employees as a pool to insurers should be enough?
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Do you think an employer should be required to make a contribution?
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 09:08 AM by Obamanaut
If they do, then it is possible that the cost to hire an employee would be adjusted, in the same way that the percentage for soc sec contribution is.

If the employer contribution is $50 per month per employee, then the amount the employee sees in the pay check would be $50 less than would be seen if there were no insurance requirement.

With no requirement for the employer to provide, that same $50 WOULD be seen by the employee, who could then purchase insurance if desired.

Many people don't know the total cost of their employment to the employer.

I would have rather had the total deduction for social security given to me (the 7.5% employer share, in addition to my 7.5%)

edited to change an 'it' to 'if'
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. So, you're against mandated employer contributions to Social Security and Health Care...
and you're silent on forcing workers to pay for their own health care.

Thank you for your honesty.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. The employee is actually paying for the things you mentioned.
When Joe the Employee is hired, the employer knows how much he costs. His salary, the contribution for the employer share of soc sec., etc - Joes's total cost to the employer.

If everything adds up to $1,000, then from that $1,000 the employer deducts the payments to health care, soc sec, all that stuff, and Joe ends up with the rest as salary - from which is deducted Joe's share of all those various 'benefits.'

Surely no one believes that Harry the Employer pays for all those things, do they?

If I had a choice as Joe the employee, I'd rather receive the total employee cost is actual dollars, and then take care of expenses such as health care. If Harry the Employer spends X amount of dollars to employee me, then I would rather have the whole amount given to me to pay for all those deductions. The government would benefit by be doing this because they would get a larger amount of income tax from me
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. As a liberal optimist, I believe there are at least a handful....
of privately owned businesses that would give the employees the money if they were suddenly free of government mandates.

Everyone else would simply add it to corporate profits.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. that is only true if you assume that employees get everything an employer is willing to pay
in this economy I just don't think that is remotely true. I think that labor is underpriced right now since unemployment is high. I highly doubt the labor market is as inelastic as you think it is.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. It's the Famous Gang of Six - yet again!
Working together to destroy healthcare reform, one Senator at a time!
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
13. Memories...
Barack Obama Health Care Proposal Summary

...
No mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance, which is a fundamental difference with the Hillary Clinton health care plan
...
Pay-to-play system that would force employers that do not provide employer-sponsored plan to contribute additional payroll taxes to the national health plan
...

http://decision.healthcare.com/obama-mccain/index.php



http://decision.healthcare.com/obama-mccain/index.php
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malletgirl02 Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
17. Senator Snowe
I'm surprised no one has picked up on this quote yet:


"Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said the Finance Committee proposal would affect not just 'gold-plated Cadillac' plans costing $40,000 a year. Instead, Ms. Snowe said, senators might draw the line 'in the vicinity of $25,000'" (Hulse and Pear, 7/27)."

I find it a bit ironic that Snowe talks about people with "golden plated Cadillac" health insurance plan, when she as a senator benefits from one.


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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
20. I thought I read that walmart was on board for wanting the public option
I swear I read that here at the DU a few days ago.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Public option and employer mandates are two different facets...
of health care reform.
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. you have to wonder what deal they cut for their support
when Walmart supports anything, it's time to start checking the family silver...
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. And read the press releases CAREFULLY...
Wal-Mart endorses health insurance mandate

...

Three years ago, Wal-Mart battled initiatives in several states that would have required large employers to provide health insurance or contribute money toward workers' coverage.

On Tuesday, company executives said they decided to back a federal "employer mandate" if certain conditions are met: It must be part of a broad healthcare-reform bill; it should exempt some small firms; and it must be pegged to a moderately-priced benefits package similar to the coverage Wal-Mart offers most of its workers.

Wal-Mart refused to discuss the size of a mandate it was willing to support.


http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/01/nation/na-walma...

So they're for a mandate that only forces them to no change. :eyes:
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
28. Thanks to whomever for the recs. The thread has spent the day in < 0 land....
I was beginning to develop a *twitch* complex....
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