Wal-Mart Employees on Public Assistance—That You Pay For

This article says it all. When you want to know why your paycheck brings home less and less, your income is going to pay for the healthcare of Wal-Mart employees:

Report: Ohio spent $111M to insure workers

9/1/2008, 4:11 p.m. EDT The Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A new report shows Ohio spent $111.5 million in 2007 to cover Medicaid costs for workers who are not enrolled in employer health insurance plans.

Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank in Cleveland, estimates the state covered more than 111,000 workers and their dependents from 50 companies with the highest Medicaid enrollment.

The federal government covered $182 million of the total cost. Researchers analyzed monthly Medicaid enrollment data to compile a list of statewide employers with the most employees who received government health assistance.

“Right now, we’re in a very tight budget,” said Piet van Lier, the study’s author and a senior researcher at Policy Matters Ohio. “Medicaid is a very big expense — not only for Ohio, but for other states — and here’s a substantial benefit going to employers.”

Most of the employers included in the lists are retailers, restaurant chains and staffing firms.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services warned that people should be careful not to jump to conclusions based on the Medicaid enrollment numbers.

“Eligibility for employer-sponsored health care coverage does not preclude eligibility for Medicaid,” the department said in a statement. “Several circumstances could lead people who are eligible for employer coverage to apply for and receive Medicaid.”

Wal-Mart topped the list with a monthly average of 13,141 employees and dependents enrolled in Medicaid last year.

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said the rankings are “notoriously unreliable” and hard to verify.

He said the company offers competitive benefits to hourly employees who work at least 34 hours a week, but some Wal-Mart employees only work part-time. The benefit structure varies depending on employment status, Rossiter said.

Wal-Mart giveth and Wal-Mart taketh away—from your wallet. We don’t need a Wal-Mart in Brown County. Shortsighted leaders aren’t looking for real solutions, just easy ones with plenty of flash, even if they have no substance in the end.

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