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Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 10:48 AM   #1
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Walmart and Unions agree!

Here's odd bedfellows if I ever saw them:

Health Insurance at Walmart


Winds of change.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Strange bedfellows indeed.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

They don't sound serious to me. Most likely just polishing their own images. Hard to imagine Wal-Mart is doing something for America, when they are not taking care of their own employees.

Excerpt:
"If Wal-Mart is truly serious," Blank said, "we challenge the company to provide universal health care to all of its uninsured employees and their families today." Blank's union did not participate in Wednesday's press conference.

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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

So... is Andrew Stern's facial expression in the picture indicative of his level of enthusiasm for Wal-mart and it's healthcare proposal?
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I think you guys are jumping to cynicism. Admittedly, it often is justified. But why not give them a try? They are already doing a lot for America by making cheap food and goods available almost everywhere. Now they have added pharmaceuticals.

Wal-Mart is many things, but IMO ineffective is not one of them.

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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 03:16 PM   #6
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I think you guys are jumping to cynicism.
I was not cynical. I admire Wal-Mart, I think highly of its founder. But Wal-Mart trying to do something for healthcare at this moment? I don't think so.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 04:44 PM   #7
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Walmart has come out in support of increasing the minimum wage. It says its customers are having difficulty in purchasing its products. Could Walmart possibly support a national healthcare plan? Maybe. Maybe the one group that can move us away from an employer based system is the employer.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Wal-Mart is many things, but IMO ineffective is not one of them.
Hey, they beat fema to new orleans. By quite a bit.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 06:21 PM   #9
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I've never understood why people think that their employers should be obligated to provide health insurance. If they don't like the benefits, why not look for employment elsewhere?

If Walmart were to provide coverage for all employees, even part time employees, we all know the cost of the healthcare would be reflected in the price of the goods Walmart offers to consumers. Since price is Walmart's competitive edge, wouldn't that hurt their market share, thus causing them to be forced to cut back on employment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Walmart has come out in support of increasing the minimum wage. It says its customers are having difficulty in purchasing its products. Could Walmart possibly support a national healthcare plan? Maybe. Maybe the one group that can move us away from an employer based system is the employer.
This fascinates me. When the minimum wage goes up, Walmart will have to increase their prices to compensate, so won't the same people who get the wage increase still have trouble affording the products, because even though they make more money, they will have to pay more for their goods and services...?
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 07:17 PM   #10
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

My son works at Wallyworld, and makes more than the new, improved minimum wage already. And, he has health insurance...
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-07-2007, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

if Walmart provided free health coverage to all its customers, someone would complain about it! four major companies and a major union have joined in an effort to achieve what many have clamoured for, and what none (notably congress) have been able to achieve. if it is in the best interests of the nation to have universal coverage, it is in the best interests of corporate America to help achieve that end.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 10:37 AM   #12
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
I've never understood why people think that their employers should be obligated to provide health insurance. If they don't like the benefits, why not look for employment elsewhere?

If Walmart were to provide coverage for all employees, even part time employees, we all know the cost of the healthcare would be reflected in the price of the goods Walmart offers to consumers. Since price is Walmart's competitive edge, wouldn't that hurt their market share, thus causing them to be forced to cut back on employment?

This fascinates me. When the minimum wage goes up, Walmart will have to increase their prices to compensate, so won't the same people who get the wage increase still have trouble affording the products, because even though they make more money, they will have to pay more for their goods and services...?
The answer, in part, is because a large group buying insurance can bring into play economy of scale. There is power in numbers. The individual sucks at this game. As the system stands now, accessing health insurance through one's employer is the way it is. If we get the Democrats elected, please God!, maybe we will be able to change the system and the group will be the whole USA. Then employers will be free of the health insurance benefit and will be able to compete globally in a more effective manner.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I just went to a symposium yesterday hosted by the national association of health underwriters. The hosts did a great job of finding speakers from three different political opinions. One speaker was a liberal, arguing FOR a single-payer system. The second speaker was a conservative, arguing against single-payer, and the third speaker was a centrist, the director of our local, hospital. I wish I could have taped the program for everyone on this forum to see. It was incredible.

Anyways, to make a long story short, the speaker arguing for single-payer, ended up shooting herself in the foot at the end of her shpeal. She stated...and I can't remember which country she was referring to, but she said that they had this wonderful single-payer system. And then, with a big, BUT, she stated that unfortunately, since the doctors who treated people that were on the gov't program weren't allowed to treat people who opted out and had private insurance, they started losing doctors to the private healthcare system because it paid better.....so, the government decided to ALLOW these doctors to see patients with private insurance once a week so that the gov't could keep them in the system. This helped prevent the gov't healthcare system from losing good doctors. What amazes me is the short sightedness here. What most people don't realize is that a single-payer system will seem like heaven in the SHORT run...until the gov't runs out of money to fund it. Then....taxes will start going up...and the final consequence....many years down the road will be that people will stop choosing healthcare careers due to mediocre salaries, and we will be left with mediocre care for all.

The liberals always like to talk how great the outcomes are in other countries, citing statistics with regards to infant mortality rates and primary care, but I would like to argue otherwise. The conservative speaker gave some statistics on cancer survival rates for a long list of cancers, and guess which country came out on top by a LONGSHOT everytime? The good old USA! IMO, infant mortality rates are higher in the USA because we spend a lot more time and money trying to save newborn babies that other countries would just let die (and then not count in their statistics).

The liberals like to site statistics about how much more per capita our healthcare costs than most other countries. But what they don't tell you is that, included in OUR cost of care, is the price we pay for all of the Canadians and residents of other countries, that come across the border for care in the USA because they don't want to wait for care in their country.

The liberals like to talk about how proud they are that the single-payer system pays for the training of all their doctors, but what they don't tell you is that many of those doctors leave their countries for better paying careers in the USA.

Rather than blaming the free market for our problems, I would put forth that the broken Medicaid and Medicare systems are the CAUSE of all of our healthcare woes. Even the speaker from our local hospital, who by the way had a centrist opinion, stated that all of the uncompensated care and bad debt for the uninsured, medicaid and tricare patients ends up being passed on to the private sector in the form of higher health insurance premiums. He stated uncompensated care as the single, most important factor, for the rise in our healthcare costs AND insurance premiums (NOT corporate greed).

Agreed, we need to get more people covered, but not through a goverment program that forces a single health plan on me. The government doesn't know what is best for me. I want choices. I don't want to pay a fortune for my medical care. A high deductible plan is all I want, but single-payer advocates want to force a zero deductible, zero copay plan on me. In the longrun, that means I will pay twice as much in taxes than I do for my current health insurance premiums.

My parents have a couple of friends who moved to Canada thinking they would get a great deal on healthcare. It turns out they they now pay MORE in additional income taxes than they paid for their own insurance in the USA. They hate the Canadian healthcare system and frequently come across the border for their care. A colleague of mine stated that she got a call from a USA citizen living in Canada a few days ago. That person wanted to buy a USA health insurance policy in case anything serious ever happened to her, because she felt as if she would not be able to get the care she might need in Canada.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 01:48 PM   #14
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I enjoy reading your posts but I think you might be suffering from a common conservative disease - if it doesn't affect me it is not legitimate.

No matter how the insurance companies, those that have outstanding coverage for themselves, or the "free market" ideology would like to portray it our health care system in the US is broken and broken beyond repair. There have been numerous attempt to solve the problem and insure that everyone make profit but all have been dismal failures.

The time has come, the time is now to finally deal with the problem and provide Universal Healthcare for all. All it takes is to use some chloroform on all of the lobbyists that will be handing out millions to our legislatures to try and ensure that their profits continue to roll in.

We should demand Universal Healthcare and make sure that our elected representatives understand the consequences of stonewalling.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 05:39 PM   #15
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I agree that we need to get more people covered in order to make sure that we are all part of the risk pool, but I have deep fears about a liberal approach. I think people do a much better job of managing their own money and affairs than the government, and I would rather see a more conservative approach to the problem. How about mandated coverage with guaranteed issue, but give people vouchers or tax credits to pay for the kind of policy they want or need vs forcing everyone on the same plan. Let people who don't want the cadillac plans to keep the difference to save towards retirement...

Better yet, let's have a two-tiered system where those who need or want government assistance stay in the government program, while those who don't need or want the government can remain in the private sector, by CHOICE. What amazes me is that the liberals always say they HATE a two-tiered approach. Why? Because they know that the private system is the one that will thrive, making it unfair for the minority of people to be stuck with the government program....their answer?...let's force everyone onto the same plan so we can all have the crappy government healthcare plan instead.

IMO, right now the system is broken, not because of the free market, but because 60% of our "healthcare system" is controlled by the government in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, which can't pay our providers enough for their services, thus forcing extreme inflation upon the private sector.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 05:51 PM   #16
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

I think Wally wants a universal system because they are being pushed by states and the marketplace to provide health insurance to their employees. Employers who provide health insurance are disadvantaged when their competitors don't have that expense. Much the same can be said for manufacturers.

I think we should consider a universal program based on the most bang for the buck, for treatments that have the best outcomes, with a provision for catastrophic illness/injury. The insured then has the option to insure for the piece in the middle.

How that can be structured is tough. Maybe we should start with segments of the population (don't try to chew an elephant whole), kids & prenatal care would be where I would begin. Wait a couple years for the dust to settle then pick another piece of the population - or perhaps offer catastrophic illness/injury coverage next. The latter will be utilizing resources in any case.

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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 06:01 PM   #17
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Hi Brat,

I had that same idea, too. How about this idea? Gov't guarantees coverage to anyone who buys an HSA that includes first dollar coverage for preventive care. If a catastrophe happens, gov't comes in and helps out with x number of dollars towards the deductible AFTER x number of dollars toward the deductible has already been met(perhaps, the consumer is responsible for the first $1000 of their HSA deductible - surely that does not amount to financial devastation...most consumers could arrange a payment plan if they couldn't come up with $1000). The consumer gets to choose how much of a deductible they want, and how much risk they want to take.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 06:22 PM   #18
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
The conservative speaker gave some statistics on cancer survival rates for a long list of cancers, and guess which country came out on top by a LONGSHOT everytime? The good old USA!
Has it dawned on you that cancer is largely a disease of older people, and therefore most cancer care in the good ol' USA is already government funded? As is most trauma care, in the country that really gets trauma right. Oh yeah, I should also mention that the techniques that make the US pre-eminent in trauma care were developed in another bastion of government medicine- the military!

And while we are at it, how about the CDC, NIH, NIMH? Do you think these are privately funded?

Ha
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 06:51 PM   #19
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
...liberal...liberal... liberal... liberal... liberal...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash
I enjoy reading your posts but I think you might be suffering from a common conservative disease - if it doesn't affect me it is not legitimate.
The other symptom of the disease maybe the inability to compose a thought, or write a paragraph without using the world "liberal" at least several times. It is common theme among people afflicted with such a disease that simply calling a person, (or an idea) a liberal, is in itself victory, and self-explanatory to all others similarly affected.
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!
Old 02-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #20
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Re: Walmart and Unions agree!

MKLD - You might be right but do I have to get to be 65+ to avoid the profit scams?? I retired early to enjoy life and not deal with a bunch of 10+% healthcare increase every year since 2000 - you can' tell me that all of the sudden the cost of healthcare went up - WRONG.

I am stuck paying the tab but it is seriously cutting into my budget and it is re-dick-ulous!!

Peace
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