Wal-Mart reverses health insurance program; drops spouses from many policies

Nobody can deny that health insurance costs have a high cost for business, but this is a major step in the wrong direction. Whether you like Wal-Mart or not, their decisions have a large impact in the US so this should be a big red flag for the health insurance problem and the US economy. After receiving a lot of bad press in the past for its health insurance policies, Wal-Mart went on the offensive to improve its image. They have to know that rolling back these changes will come with a price, yet they still went ahead it. This gives you some indication as to how bad the problem is in terms of cost.

If anything, this move reinforces the urgency of needing a public option. The so-called “free market” for health insurance is anything but free and it’s crushing the US. If the public option was so bad and so anti-American, obviously no one would buy it. Rolling back Obamacare or doing nothing is not an option. NY Times:

Citing rising costs, Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, told its employees this week that all future part-time employees who work less than 24 hours a week on average will no longer qualify for any of the company’s health insurance plans.

In addition, any new employees who average 24 hours to 33 hours a week will no longer be able to include a spouse as part of their health care plan, although children can still be covered.

This is a big shift from just a few years ago when Wal-Mart expanded coverage for employees and their families after facing criticism because so many of its 1.4 million workers could not afford or did not qualify for coverage — rendering many of them eligible for Medicaid.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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