Wal-Mart CEO, Senator Debate Health Care Costs
The San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday published two opinion pieces as part of a forum on "Who Pays for Health Care." Summaries appear below.
- H. Lee Scott: Wal-Mart seeks to "give working families the opportunity to buy coverage that they can afford, company CEO Scott writes in a Chronicle opinion piece, adding, "We're making a lot of progress toward that goal." According to Scott, Wal-Mart also has begun "experimenting with health clinics" and has sought to use "business strengths to make health care more affordable and accessible." However, Wal-Mart "cannot do it all," he writes, adding, "No business can. No business should have to." Scott writes that the "soaring cost of health care in America cannot be sustained over the long term by any business that offers health benefits to its employees," adding that the company "stands ready to work with leaders from all sides to pull from all of our strengths" to "ensure healthy people in a healthy America" (Scott, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).
- Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco): The low-cost health plan that Wal-Mart recently introduced for employees "is not an affordable option," Migden writes in a Chronicle opinion piece. In addition, she writes that recent efforts by states to require Wal-Mart and other large employers to pay more for employee health insurance "are not picking on Wal-Mart," adding that "Wal-Mart has elected to be a target." According to Migden, Wal-Mart "has the power and the wherewithal to stop the legislative revolt against its practices" and "introduce a real employee health plan." She writes that Wal-Mart must "step up and stop legislators from resorting to legislative solutions to problems that can be solved with Wal-Mart's resolve" (Migden, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).