Wal-Mart: Head to the Supreme Court

What are they smokin’ in Maryland?

Maryland’s Senate voted Thursday to enact a first-in-the-nation requirement that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spend more on employee health care despite the governor’s veto of the legislation. The measure, touted as a money-saver for Medicaid, now goes to the House for a vote.

Veto – schmeeto. We’ll vote whenever and however we want. Sounds like socialism to me.

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO has similar bills in nearly 30 other states.

Not to fear though, Wal-Mart has plenty of support for its side.

“The Maryland bill is a legislative mugging masquerading as an act of benevolent social engineering.” – WaPo

“Attacking real or imagined health care villains, though sometimes necessary and always fun, will not make health care more affordable today or tomorrow unless we also face hard facts and reform our system. It is broken and our leaders know it, but courage to talk about real solutions is scarce, so most stick to diversionary tactics.” – Baltimore Sun

“It would also make Maryland the first state in the nation to impose government-mandated health benefits, a shakedown masquerading as concern for the poor. If legislators really want to help those at the bottom end of the economic ladder, they won’t destroy the first rung up: a job.” – DC Examiner

“If Wal-Mart chooses to provide health insurance for its employees, great. If not, the government has no right to force it to do so.” – Below the Beltway, here and here.

And there’s this from Wal-Mart:

These bills will do nothing to address the enormous number of uninsured or control the soaring cost of health care in America. 1.3 million Americans work at Wal-Mart. According to one study, 86% of Wal-Mart associates are insured through the company, a spouse’s plan or Medicare. There are 46 million uninsured Americans.

Wal-Mart is deeply committed to finding solutions to the health care challenges facing our associates, our communities, and our company. Every associate, full and part-time, can become eligible for plans that cost less than $25 per month for individuals, $37 per month for a single parent and child, and $65 per month for a family. None of our health plans come with a lifetime maximum – protecting associates and their families from catastrophic costs.

Frankly, it’s too bad Wal-Mart has to bear the cost of fighting this waste of legislation. I hope they come out on top, and that eventually the members of the Maryland Senate are voted out.

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