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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Minnesota Vs. Wal-Mart: "Wal-Mart Has LOTS Of Money."

On the fast track in Minnesota is legislation patterned after the Maryland law recently enacted requiring - extorting, really - Wal-Mart paying "X" percent to a State fund to reimburse costs for state provided healthcare to employees. This is brought about because some Wal-Mart employees are still paying for, and receiving, their healthcare through the state rather than purchasing it through their employer, Wal-Mart.

Advocates, of what basically boils down to penalizing Wal-Mart, say the state healthcare program was never intended to be extended to workers who had the option of buying healthcare through their employer. What the prime architects of Minnesota's state provided healthcare failed to do was put any effort into foresight, looking ahead, recognizing that it was only a matter of time until this situation occurred.

Presumably, before state healthcare laws are passed (or any laws, for that matter), studies are commissioned by legislators from organizations whose job it is to recognize and identify future problems or scenarios that may come their way once these laws are enacted. Well, where is the feasibility study, if any, commissioned by proponents of MnCare? And how could they have missed something so obvious as someone employed still purchasing their healthcare via the state, at a cheaper rate, rather than purchasing it through their employer?

I don't fault employees who are buying their healthcare though the state, at somewhere around $10 per month, when it would cost them, at the cheapest option through Wal-Mart, $23 per month. Most of us try to get the most bang for our dollar, and these folks are doing just that.

Again, the responsibility for this half-baked legislation, in failing to recognize what future problems would occur, goes right back to the legislators who created the Minnesota state healthcare program but failed to take into account what future loopholes would invariably surface.

And their answer to this? Impose a financial penalty on the employer. Forgive me for my following choice of words, but, could it be anymore retarded than this?

And if Minnesota, like Maryland, eventually passes this 'penalize the employer legislation', who will be hurt the most? Not Wal-Mart, they'll pass the cost on to the consumer like any business would do. Not the state, for no state suffers any injustice for they are our modern day Greek gods when it comes to unadulterated sanctimony.

No, the people who will be hurt in legislation like this - like that of Maryland - will be those people of whom laws like this are intended to help. Wal-Mart may consider, as a cost-saving measure, to then layoff some employees. Another option for Wal-Mart, or any employer faced with this type of legislation, would be to scale back the healthcare options that they offer, or to not offer any at all.

I don't know what it is about Democrats and Liberals in that they cannot get it drilled through their heads that you cannot legislate "fairness" that applies to EVERYBODY in situations that should be, and can be, resolved by the Free Market.

Sometimes the simplest answer is indeed the best answer. And those that oppose penalizing Wal-Mart have offered up the best and least complicated response: simply make state purchased healthcare no longer an option available for those who can buy it through their employer.

But no, rather than legislators or a state admitting that they made mistakes or acknowledging that they didn't thoroughly think something through, they instead try to remedy their error by imposing a financial cost on the employer.

No offense to Bill Gates, but this "after-thought legislation" too much resembles the problems of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Get it out, pass the law, and when problems with that law surface, create a 'patch'. The only difference is Mircosoft is able to release a patch that works. I cannot say the same for patches intended to fix poorly worded and poorly conceptualized laws.


Information Resources Used For The Above:
MN Dept. of Human Services: History of Minnesota Care
SEIU Local 113: Recap of 2005 Legislature for Health Care Workers
Benton County Daily Record: MN Senate Approves 'Wal-Mart' Health Care Bill
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Linking Here:
Charming, Just Charming

I reckon it is a damn good thing for Minn. that I do not run WALMART because there would be 13,000 people out of a job. I would close every gotdam store in the state and make damn sure that the employees and customers knew why. I would also let them know that I wasn't coming back to where I was not welsomed once--I may get bit the first time but the second time is my fault. I reckon the state needs WALMART a lot more than Wally world needs the state.
let's hope when they release a new version they don't stop supporting the old one, that's too much gates influence.
Guy, yeah, I feel the same way. MN is one of the hardest states in the U.S. for business to operate. The joke is, and it really isn't a joke, is that many companies have uprooted and moved to South Dakota solely based on SD's much less onerous tax laws and more business-friendly regulatoins.

Rev: really, funny you mention supporting older versions of MS. Years ago, I was using Win 3.1 far longer than anyone else in the world, but it worked, and we know the old saying 'if it aint broke don't fix it.' Well, that PC finally died. It was given a proper burial and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. The funny thing is, years later, with this blog, I see on my stat reports that I've had one system hit with a visitor using...you guessed it, Win 3.1 God bless whomever it is, and good for them to still be able to get online with 3.1!
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