Proposed legislation would close “Walmart Loophole”
By Steve Smith/Labor’s Edge
For years, we’ve known big companies like Walmart have been shifting their health care costs onto taxpayers. Now a new report from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research shows just how widespread the problem is, projecting that as many as 380,000 workers for big companies will end up on the state’s Medi-Cal program by 2019.
For taxpayers, that’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. In 2011, Walmart made $447 billion in revenue. The company’s CEO raked in nearly $21 million last year. And yet, Walmart and other large companies don’t think twice about cutting workers’ hours and wages to such a low level that workers have to get health care through taxpayer-funded Medi-Cal. Even more infuriating, Walmart and companies like Darden restaurants (owner of Oliver Garden, Red Lobster and other chains) have openly flouted the Affordable Health Care Act’s (ACA) requirement — which mandates that companies either provide affordable health care to their workers or pay a penalty — by paying so little that workers end up on public assistance. [Read more…]