In a letter signed by Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke, Center for American Progress President & CEO John Podesta, and Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, the authors wrote that, “reforming health care is necessary not just to improve the health of all Americans, but also to remove the burden that is crushing America’s businesses and hampering our competitiveness in the global economy.”
[letter to President Obama, 6/30/09]
Wal-Mart CEO: “Health Care Costs More Because We Don’t Cover Everyone.” The same letter stated: “Today, health care costs more because we don’t cover everyone – the average family premium costs an additional $1,100 because our system fails to provide continuous coverage for all Americans. And losing coverage pushes people already dealing with financial hardship to the verge of financial collapse. One accident or unexpected illness can financially ruin them."
In 2008, half of all people filing for home foreclosure cited medical problems as a cause. [letter to President Obama, 6/30/09]
Wal-Mart: Reform “Essential” To Bringing Down Costs. “An essential goal of health-care reform is to insure as many of the uninsured as possible and to bring the cost of health care down,” said David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “We think a broad-based employer mandate is essential to both those goals.” [Bloomberg, 6/30/09]Wal-Mart: To Bring Costs Down, “You’ve Got To Cover As Many People As Possible.”
“In order to reduce the increase in health-care costs, you’ve got to cover as many people as possible,” Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Wal-Mart, said yesterday after meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.” [Washington Post, 7/1/09]
HEALTH CARE REFORM CRITICAL TO OKLAHOMA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Oklahoma Families Pay $1,900 More In Premiums Every Year Because Our System Fails To Cover Everybody. In Oklahoma, the average family premium costs $1,900 more because our broken health care system fails to cover everyone. Nationally, the average family premium costs $1,100 more. [Center for American Progress, 3/24/09]
Oklahoma Economy Loses Up To $3.43 Billion Dollars Every Year Because Of Our Broken Health Care System.
The Oklahoma economy loses between $3.43 billion and $1.72 billion every year due to lost productivity stemming from the uninsured. Nationwide, we are losing between $124 billion and $248 billion every year. [Center for American Progress, 5/29/09 ]
WAL-MART’S MOVE SHOWS TREND TOWARDS BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM
AP: Wal-Mart’s Move Latest In Larger Trend Towards Business Support For Health Reform.
“Wal-Mart is the latest in a line of traditionally Republican-leaning businesses to embrace key portions of President Barack Obama’s bid to overhaul health care, a trend that could complicate opponents’ efforts to build a united front when Congress ramps up its work on the issue this summer.” [Associated Press, 6/30/09]
Wal-Mart Breaking With Chamber To Support Health Reform.
“With Wal-Mart’s endorsement of a legal requirement that employers provide health benefits to their workers, the nation’s largest employer has broken from the business community.
The so-called employer mandate is adamantly opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and virtually every major business trade association in Washington.
But the backing of Wal-Mart, which employs about 2 million people, could give a big boost to President Obama and Congress’s effort to levy such a requirement on companies.” [The Hill, 6/31/09]
Industry Lobbyist “Flabbergasted” By Wal-Mart’s Move. Wall Street Journal: “The National Retail Federation, the industry’s main lobby, said it was ‘flabbergasted’ by Wal-Mart’s move.
‘We have been one of the foremost opponents to employer mandate,’ said Neil Trautwein, vice president with the Washington-based trade group. ‘We are surprised and disappointed by Wal-Mart’s choice to embrace an employer mandate in exchange for a promise of cost savings.’”
WAL-MART CRITICAL TO OKLAHOMA’S ECONOMY, PROVIDING OVER 33,000 OKLAHOMA JOBS
Wal-Mart Provides Over 33,314 Oklahoma Jobs: As of June 2009, Wal-Mart employs 33,314people in Oklahoma, and supports an additional 30,817 supplier jobs in Oklahoma. [Wal-Mart website, accessed 7/1/09] http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/StateByState/State.aspx?st=OK
Wal-Mart Contributed Over $554.4 Million In Oklahoma Tax Revenue: Wal-Mart collected on behalf of the state of Oklahoma more than $521.4 million in sales taxes in FYE 2009. Wal-Mart paid more than $33 million in state and local taxes in the state of Oklahoma in FYE 2009. [Wal-Mart website, accessed 7/1/09]
Wal-Mart Real Estate: As of May 2009, Wal-Mart’s presence in Oklahoma includes 71 Supercenters, 14 Discount Stores, 16 Neighborhood Markets, 8 Sam’s Clubs, 2 Distribution Centers. [Wal-Mart website, accessed 7/1/09]
WILL SENATOR COBURN SUPPORT HEALTH CARE REFORM TO FIX OKLAHOMA’S ECONOMY?