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Walmart Worker Benefit Story Misses Bigger Points

by John on 10/09/2014

Alternet, a liberal news site, recently posted a story about Walmart’s growing profits and its decision to drop or reduce health care benefits for their employees.

Sure, it’s an inflammatory story for the left. But it is also a story that screams for ideas that most media outlets – liberal and conservative — can’t or won’t discuss.

First, we are stuck in a constant left-right debate that solves no problems and only brings millions of dollars for political parties and special interests to spend on advertising in the mainstream media both left and right.

Remember, Walmart is a profit-making company. They make profits by squeezing manufacturers and suppliers and, more importantly, by keeping employee costs low.

Sure, Walmart pays lousy wages. But that’s because consumers want low cost products. Walmart’s cheap prices are the symptom – not the cause — of the new economy.

The real problems are: the growth in technologies which requires less labor or cuts jobs; and the lack of public and private investment to re-train employees for the new economy.

Second, why is Walmart in the health care business anyway?

Think about it by asking these questions.

Why do we expect companies to provide health care benefits for employees? Look at it from different perspectives and you realize that this system has evolved into something that is hurting our economy.

If I am a shareholder of Walmart (I am not) or any publicly traded company, you want the company to concentrate on being the best they can be and to grow profits. Negotiating employee medical benefits is a distraction and an expense. Dropping or reducing them is a PR nightmare.

If I am an employee, why do I want a health care plan that is not geared to my specific needs? And why is my job at the mercy of whether the employer can afford my health care costs? I would prefer to be hired because I am good at what I do and I can make the company money.

If I am American worried about the high cost of health care, why wouldn’t I want to unleash millions of consumers into the health care market? More consumers will drive down the cost of health care. In addition, it will force more Americans to take responsibility for their health care costs that will also give a greater incentive to be healthy.

Some disclosure here: our company NOWtv provides video content and spokesperson services for Liberty Health Share, a medical cost sharing company that is allowable under Obamacare.

Unabashedly, I say that Liberty Health Share is the answer – especially as I see what is happening in our new economy and what is failing to happen from both political parties.

For more answers on Liberty Health Share, go to this site.

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