Wal-Mart Roars on Healthcare Reform

In a letter to the White House, Wal-Mart declared its support for healthcare reform that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers. The company is enormous and so is its show of support, an opinion contrary to that of most large companies.

Wal-Mart posted FY2009 revenues of $401 billion and has 2.1 million associates worldwide. The nation's largest private employer has spoken. But is it fervor or fluff?
A recent Wal-Mart TV commercial proclaims that 94 percent of its full-time and part-time associates have health insurance and the company won't be satisfied until 100 percent are covered.  http://walmartstores.com/Video/Default.aspx?id=1340
More specifically, 53 percent are covered directly by Wal-Mart. The other 41 percent are covered under family members' plans or Medicaid (for 36,000 employees), according to the New York Times.
What about Wal-Mart's coverage? Its plan features wellness care, including mammograms, colonoscopies, flu vaccines and well-child care. It also boasts a personal electronic personal health record and comprehensive maternal health benefits for the 15,000 Wal-Mart associates who have babies each year. Wal-Mart seems to practice what it preaches.
Wal-Mart roars—and rocks—on healthcare reform. It's a dramatic turnabout for a company once known for low wages and few benefits. Maybe it's a shot in the arm that may give healthcare reform a shot at success.
– Tom DeSanto 

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