While she doesn’t come out and say it directly, that’s the impression I get from reading a recent blog entry by State Senator Mary Lazich. Now while one can’t be completely sure if Senator Lazich wrote that blog entry – or if it was written by Kevin Fischer, her loyal aide – it’s curious that Senator Lazich would opine that Wal-Mart should run our health care system, considering the problems Wal-Mart has in running its own health care plan. Here’s just a few points about how well Wal-Mart has administered health care coverage for its employees:
- Wal-Mart reported in January 2006 that its health insurance only covers 43% of their 1.39 million employees, leaving over 775,000 employees without health insurance coverage.
- Wal-Mart doesn’t even cover as high a percentage of its employees as other large companies. On average for 2005, large companies (200 or more workers) cover approximately 66% of their employees, while Wal-Mart only covers 43%.
- Since the average full-time Wal-Mart employee earned $17,114 in 2005, he or she would have to spend between 7 and 25 percent of his or her income just to cover the premiums and medical deductibles, if electing for single coverage.
- Between 2000-2005, the cost of premiums rose 169 percent for single coverage and 117 percent for family coverage.
Now maybe I’m crazy, but that doesn’t sound like a health care plan I’d want to be a part of, nor does it sound like a health care plan that’s well administered. Then again, considering the generosity Wal-Mart has shown to Senator Lazich, I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised that she thinks Wal-Mart has done a great job of insuring its employees. If I were her, I wouldn’t want to anger my corporate benefactors either.
H/T to Greg over at Metro Milwaukee Today.