For the first time ever, Wal-Mart is doing something that may actually effect us in a positive way. And seriously, I'm as shocked as you are, but it is the truth.
As many of us may know, health care in this little land of ours is on the rocks and statistically speaking, most of us don't have the insurance we deserve. Up until now, huge employers like Wal-Mart (no, I refuse to link you to their page because all you need to know about this super-chain can be found within the confines of this blog. And you obviously already know what they are, so forgive me this biased reporting...) have set industry standards for employee health care benefits. And this has caused health insurance costs to individuals and small businesses to go up, as more insurance carriers cater to the needs of these humongous corporations, adversely affecting costs and benefits and general quality of health care. Companies like Wal-Mart have demanded the insurance industry cut benefits across the board, to decrease overall cost to them as the employer and to raise premiums paid by employees.
According to a Monday New York Times article, Wal-Mart has garnered enough negative publicity related to this specific bad business practice to persuade them to change their tune. The article outlines why specifically this corporation has found it in their best interest to support employee health care and why this shift will have infinite effects on business practices and insurance coverage in this country. I, for one, am as surprised as anyone to find myself celebrating Walmart's strides in becoming an upstanding American employer. But we should take it where we can get it, and in the current business climate, such an ally in fighting for workers' rights has to be celebrated. Doesn't mean I'm going to shop there. Just means I'm glad they aren't the absolute most evil-doers after all. Read the article, you might just agree.