That Sucking Sound In Maryland

There will likely be a huge sucking sound in Maryland. The phrase, attributed to Ross Perot, describes what will happen now that Maryland’s House over rode the Governor’s veto of the so called Wal Mart bill. The bill, improperly entitled the Fair Share Health Care bill, requires any business with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of payroll on health care. The reason it is called the Wal Mart bill is that Wal Mart is the only business in this state that meets the requirement and that company was specifically targeted by the liberals and the labor unions.

Everyone who thinks this is good needs to reassess their idea of free market. Why should the government tell any business how much they have to spend on its employees? Why would politicians allow this bill to pass when it was designed to affect only one company, appease labor unions upset that Wal Mart will not unionize, and does nothing to help health care access problems in this state? If this bill becomes law there will be hell to pay. You see, government never lowers anything and once they intrude they keep pushing. I predict that the 8% will rise to 10 or 12 or even 20% over time. And those little businesses that thought they were immune. Well when government gets money it keeps digging for more and soon the threshold will be 8000 or 5000 or 3000 and soon every business in the state will be affected. This will eventually lead to a state take over of health care if there are enough businesses left to matter by that time.

I think that this state has shot itself in the foot and the sucking sound will be businesses leaving. Wal Mart was planning on building a distribution center here and would employ about 1000 more employees. What do you want to bet they take that distribution center some place else? The crime is, Wal Mart offers benefits including health care for its employees. The special interest groups are upset that it is not enough. This is from the Wal Mart site:

Health Care Benefits

* The foundation of our health benefits is to provide a choice of medical coverage options designed to protect associates from catastrophic medical costs.
* Health care benefits also include Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance, and a dental plan that covers a range of general and major care.
Our health care benefits offer associates peace of mind and the ability to care for themselves and their families.
Associates’ Medical Plan

* Protection from the unexpected-that’s the goal of the Associates’ Medical Plan. If a major or unexpected medical event occurs, the coverage is there to help associates. The Associates’ Medical Plan is designed to protect associates from catastrophic loss and financial ruin.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

* In addition to the Associates’ Medical Plan, HMO plans are offered in some facilities.

STARBRIDGE

* STARBRIDGE, a limited medical plan, is available to associates and their families during an eligibility waiting period and to temporary associates.

Aflac Cancer Insurance

* This supplemental insurance plan helps reduce financial worries if cancer strikes Associates or their family.

Dental

* A bright smile is one of associates’ greatest assets. The Dental Plan provides associates with a way to keep it looking great. Under this Plan, associates have access to a network of general dentists and specialists who have agreed to provide dental care at discounted fees.

Life Insurance

* We want our associates to be prepared. Life insurance offers financial protection for associates and their families in case of death. Full-time eligible associates receive Company-Paid Life Insurance. Associates also may apply for additional coverage for themselves, their spouse, or their dependent children.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)

* AD&D insurance plans offer financial protection for associates and their families in case the associate or a dependent suffers a serious injury or death.

Business Travel Accident Insurance

* We offer associates even more protection when they travel on company business by providing Business Travel Accident Insurance.

Disability Plans

* It is important for associates to think about protecting their families. Both Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance can help protect an associate’s family should the associate become suddenly ill or injured.

It appears to me that Wal Mart offers quite a selection. If employees decide not to opt for the coverage and pay their share then there is nothing the state can do to fix that. The special interest groups and the Democrats are concerned because of the so-called strain on the state provided social program medical programs. What makes them think the same employees will not continue to use the state resources? In addition, Wal Mart only employs 17,000 people. Surely the percentage of them drawing state resources pales in comparison to the total number of people who are using those resources.

Any sane person can see this bill was aimed at one company. Pretty soon though, others will be affected. I hope when they are it causes them to wake up and realize the Democratic party does not care about them. I hope they realize that labor unions are harmful and do not have worker interest at heart. I hope they will finally get rid of these wasteful groups and they can start by ensuring that the Democrats do not win the State House in November.

Each and every time you shop at Wal Mart and you notice the prices are not quite as low as they once were, let it be a painful reminder to you what happens when government and special interest groups meddle in free enterprise. Remember, businesses pass costs on so the Democrats just told you they don’t want your taxes to pay for Wal Mart employee’s health care, they want you to pay for it at the register.

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