Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Outrage du jour

Just another reason to avoid Wal-Mart like the plague. It isn’t enough that they tell their suppliers to move manufacturing to China... they’re trying to figure out how to squeeze employee health benefits and get away with it. The link goes to a somewhat raggedy-looking PDF; I’ll summarize the lowlights:
  • Make it harder to insure spouses. “Spouses are by far the most expensive plan members to cover...”

  • Lower life insurance coverage.

  • Use more part-time employees (because it takes longer for them to qualify for coverage).

  • Push employees into Health Savings Accounts (as if they can afford them).

  • Cut 401K matching from 4% to 3%.

  • Encourage less-healthy employees to leave, thus saving their health care costs, by “[designing] all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g. all cashiers do some cart gathering),” and “dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart.” Sheesh.
I suppose it’s better than what they do now: give people information on how to apply for Medicaid.

Wal-Mart definitely has a self-inflicted image problem. Only 48% of eligible employees use their healthcare plan (vs. the national average of 68%). The memo further admits that “46 percent of Associates’ children are either on Medicaid or uninsured.”

Tell me again: in these days of runaway medical costs, when we spend more per capita for healthcare than any other developed nation and receive less for our trouble, when one of of five Americans can’t even afford health insurance, why a nationalized health care system is such a bad idea?

1 comment:

  1. I can't stand WalMart, I had a friend that worked there for 11 years and made about $11 an hour. Over time you would think that they could at least pay their employees a far wage. But no, WalFart would rather donate millions of dollars to some tax exempt charity and pay their executives huge bonuses than try to pay their long term employees a decent wage.

    I would rather work for a manufacture plant that makes heating elements or such, than work for FartMart.

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