Wal-Mart joined with a large union and a liberal think tank on Tuesday to endorse the idea of an employer mandate in health care reform, setting the major retailer apart from most other businesses.
“We are for shared responsibility,” Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke said in a letter sent to President Obama on Tuesday. “Not every business can make the same contribution, but everyone must make some contribution.”
[…] An employer mandate – also referred to as “pay or play” – would require employers to either provide “meaningful” coverage for their workers or contribute to a public fund to cover the uninsured. There is debate over whether a mandate would help reduce the costs the government will take on to ensure universal access to health care or simply more deeply entrench the United States in an employer-based health care system.
[…] Wal-Mart was long notorious for its clashes with organized labor, although the store joined with the SEIU two years ago to call for universal, affordable health care in the United States by 2012. After recent improvements to its health care benefits, about 52 percent of Wal-Mart’s 1.4 million U.S. employees now receive company-provided insurance, the Wall Street Journal reported.