Obamacare Causes Walmart To Roll Back Its Employee Health Insurance
I, along with many others, complained bitterly a bunch of years back about Walmart sticking taxpayers with their employees' health care costs -- and then they mended their ways. Well, their ways have been unmended, thanks to Obamacare.
From the HuffPo's Alice Hines (and the who couldn't have predicted that files), Walmart's new health care policy shifts the burden to Medicaid:
Labor and health care experts portrayed Walmart's decision to exclude workers from its medical plans as an attempt to limit costs while taking advantage of the national health care reform known as Obamacare. Among the key features of Obamacare is an expansion of Medicaid, the taxpayer-financed health insurance program for poor people. Many of the Walmart workers who might be dropped from the company's health care plans earn so little that they would qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, these experts said.
"Walmart is effectively shifting the costs of paying for its employees onto the federal government with this new plan, which is one of the problems with the way the law is structured," said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
For Walmart, this latest policy represents a step back in time. Almost seven years ago, as Walmart confronted public criticism that its employees couldn't afford its benefits, the company announced with much fanfare that it would expand health coverage for part-time workers.
But last year, the company eliminated coverage for some part-time workers -- those new hires working 24 hours a week or less. Now, Walmart is going further.
"Walmart likely thought it didn't need to offer this part-time coverage anymore with Obamacare," said Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "This is another example of a tremendous government subsidy to Walmart via its workers."