The memo acknowledged that Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, had to walk a fine line in restraining benefit costs because critics had attacked it for being stingy on wages and health coverage. Ms. Chambers acknowledged that 46 percent of the children of Wal-Mart's 1.33 million United States employees were uninsured or on Medicaid.Wal-Mart and General Motors are the two most public cases, but most large companies have a problem with health care. Someone on the conservative side will eventually break and decide that our current approach to health care is broken. Perhaps then we'll start thinking serious ly about a real health-care system in this country. I'm surprised that it is taking this long.
Wal-Mart executives said the memo was part of an effort to rein in benefit costs, which to Wall Street's dismay have soared by 15 percent a year on average since 2002. Like much of corporate America, Wal-Mart has been squeezed by soaring health costs. The proposed plan, if approved, would save the company more than $1 billion a year by 2011.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs
The New York Times reports