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February 13th, 2009
11:17 AM ET

At Wal-Mart, a Health-Care Turnaround

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Ceci Connolly
Washington Post

Washington policymakers contemplating a fundamental overhaul of the nation's troubled health-care system may want to study the saga of Wal-Mart.

Once vilified for its stingy health benefits, the world's largest company has become an unlikely leader in the effort to provide affordable care without bankrupting employers, their workers or taxpayers in the process. From its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., the retailer is doing in the real world what many in Washington are only beginning to talk about.

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Filed under: Health Care • Wal-Mart
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    For those who don't know, Wal-mart (at least here in Alabama) has a program where you can get many generic drugs from them at $4.00 for 30 pills, $8 for 60 etc. They have over 400 different generic drugs available; you can get a list of them from the store. Sam's Club has this feature also.

    I don't know about anyone else but this is cheaper than what I can get for the same drugs on my health insurance with co-pay. My co-pay is at the least 10 dollars a prescription and more if not generic. This is a marvelous help to my family. You should check it out and see if your medicines are on their list.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    I'd like to start out defining how our," health care program"evoled to where it is today,and how "Walmart" had a direct correlation to it's demise! Post WWII manufacturing,industrial,service sectors,etc.,offered up great fringe benefits packages to all full time employee's. Life was good. Individual's,entire families,small businesses,etc., all had great health care benefits. This health care (fringe benefits) paradigm had brought us into the mid-1980's. Ironically ,this is when free markets began to incubate,and multi-nationals (The Birthing of International Conglomerates) begin to sell their ,"Everyone Wins Business Model, to America's Corporations"! Needless to say America industry bought into the business model, "Hook-Line,and Sinker"! Fast foward a decade,and America was exporting "Socialism,and Importing Capitalism"! Our largest corporation could now enhanced their," bottom line" by dropping their obligation,once taken for granted by the," American Worker",and supplant it on the, federal government taxpayers payroll,nice! This back-channel design was well thought out by these multinationals,and when the rest of the world's business's saw just how much profit was to be had,they vigorously implemented their PR's ,and Lobbyist (K-Street Boy's) working overtime to squeeze every last cent from the," american labor force/taxpayers"! Now,to Walmarts part,in this twisted story of greed? Walmart basically told their various product (vendors) supplier's to get their prices competitive with foreign countries such as China,India,Mexico,etc.! Thus they enabled all american manufacturer's by strong-arming them to move off-shore,and build their manufacturing base to remain as a vendor,or basiacally they would buy from vendors already set up by the Multi-National's. Henceforth,we now have employee's at Walmart benefiting from Walmart's greed! It's not that Walmart is conciliatory,it's that they were instrumental in facilitating this monumental force,creating a chasm, the very web in which they used to decieve others,now has befallen themselves,...

    February 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm |