Elections Have Consequences: Wal-Mart Dropping Healthcare

According to a copy of Wal-Mart’s company policy obtained by The Huffington Post, beginning in January they will no longer offer health insurance to new hires working less than 30 hours per week. In addition, existing Wal-Mart employees whose average weekly hours fall below 30 may be in danger of losing coverage too. Gasp! Apparently what we’ve been hearing over and over again is true — elections do have consequences.

Stacy Rush headshot

Stacy Rush is a contributor to The Brenner Brief.

While Wal-Mart’s new hire healthcare policy may be breaking news to Obama voters, it is of little surprise to those of us who did not vote for him and who understand that “2 + 2” does not equal covering everyone, for everything, while paying less. Instead it turns out two plus two equals our being one step closer to a single payer system for all.

While Obama positioned health care reform as a panacea of coverage, a closer look at the law passed clearly illustrates its true intention is to move millions of people from the private health care system to a system run by government. I get chills thinking of my last trip to the DMV, and imagining getting my health care and not my driver’s license.

A liberal will shriek, “But President Obama said if I like my plan I can keep it. You’re using scare tactics, he’s only trying to make sure preexisting conditions are covered and the uninsured are insured.” Maybe, I’ll let you decide.

According to an employer-sponsored health care cost study released by MEPS (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey), the 2008 average healthcare total premium costs were:
Single employee coverage: $4,386
Employee plus one coverage: $8,535
Family coverage: $12,298

Compare the figures above to the $2,000 fine an employer would pay for not offering health care coverage to full-time employees.

So, let me get out my calculator.  As a business owner I have a tough decision to make.  Do I pay a $2,000 fine or offer my employees coverage at a cost to my business of more than double the penalty for single coverage and more than five times the penalty for family coverage? I’m not a math genius, but I would say the choice has all but been made for me.

In addition, offering employees’ coverage does not protect an employer from government fines. Assume an employer decides they will continue offering healthcare coverage, regardless of any financial gain for not doing so. Making this decision potentially places the employer at risk for a $3,000 fine if the coverage they offer is not deemed affordable by — you guessed it — the government.

You may now be asking yourself, why on earth would Obamacare set the employer penalty for not offering employee’s health care coverage significantly less than the average health care expense from over 4 years ago, or potentially fine those employers who do offer coverage? Somehow this doesn’t make sense if what Obama says is true: “if you like your coverage you can keep it.”

When you make it more affordable for a business to pay a fine for dropping employee coverage while expanding the Medicaid eligibility umbrella, you get one step closer to a single payer system. This is the true intention of Obamacare.

Yes, elections do have consequences. Many joined me in doing their best to describe to those around us what four more years of Obama would bring. Unfortunately, most did not listen and it is likely many Obama voters will be hurt first, and hurt worst by his reelection. However, the blame will fall to the “evil company” for dropping coverage.

Math is hard, Mr. President.

Comments

  1. I’m sorry people are going to suffer under four more years of obama, but I hope the nation will wake up and see what’s gonna happen with obama care. I’m really scared.

  2. SHOCK AND DESPAIR!!! Were these people not listening when they were told this might happen as a result of the Affordable Care Act becoming law? Did the voters for President Obama think all these comments were just bluffing, and that nobody would go through with it? I’m not sure where people’s heads were, but elections have consequences and everyone will end up suffering from it. Wal-Mart isn’t the first company to pull healthcare from their benefits packages, and it’s not going to be the last.

  3. I agree with @SteveWightman1 — elections have consequences. According to the comments on the HuffPost, people are blaming Wal*Mart and pinning them as the “bad guy” as it were.

    The law was written with that “open door” for the businesses. The law specifically excluded part-time employees as eligible parties. A business (who is there to make money), is going to go with the best financial and LEGAL solution — hire only part-time workers, drop some below the threshold and viola! No violation of the law and their expenses are dropped as well.

    If ANYONE is to be blamed for the low hours and lack of coverage is it the people who allowed the law to pass. It should have mandated everyone to be covered (unemployed, underemployed, part-time and full-time). Because of the loophole, the businesses will take advantage of it. Who wouldn’t? Haven’t we seen that in the court system? A defendant who is actually guilty, admitted it … but because a procedure was not followed, they were acquitted, despite obvious guilt? Who wouldn’t use a loophole to their advantage. My guess? No one. We’d all use it, exploit it and flaunt it.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. I voted for Obama-he was the lesser of the two evils. And I am glad that someone did something about healthcare. Canada, England, Denmark, and other countries have healthcare for everyone and it works fine. The companies here are like the old lord days-they want to rule and have sub-servants doing their labor with little pay. Both my daughter and I have pre-existing conditions; do you want to go through what we had to in order to get care? My response: stop complaining and come up with a healthcare system that works for us as well as the greedy companies. Second: medical fields/companies/doctors need to be taken to task about how much they charge for anything with the medical label! Stupid being charged a thousand dollars for something that you can pick up elsewhere for 30 dollars just because the term medical was attached. Be-littling and complaining doesn’t change anything-show something worth changing people’s minds for. So yeah-I was listening Steve but Romney did not show anything worth voting for.

  5. This is exactly the Obama plan: do away with privatized healthcare so that everyone will end up on the government program. Michele Bachmann said Obamacare is the “crown jewel” of socialized healthcare. Not enough listened.

  6. Wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded either yay or nay to the post. All comments are appreciated.

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