As if Wal-Mart didn’t have enough trouble, it’s now being targeted for not providing employees with health care. In states across the country, politicians are trying to get Wal-Mart to “play or pay” — that means either cover their employees or pay money directly to the state to cover the cost of enrolling these people in Medicaid.
Yesterday, the issue was brought to Capitol Hill by Senator Ted Kennedy and others, who announced a bill targeting Wal-Mart on this issue. The fight is part of a larger question about just how much companies should be required to do when it comes to health care.
Many people think the companies should be doing a lot more. But with health care costs rising 10 percent a year, employers say they simply can’t keep up and to stay in business.
Karen Davis, President of The Commonwealth Fund, formely head of Health Policy for the Department of Health and Human Services under President Carter
Kate Sullivan Hare, Executive Director of Health-Care Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC