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Walmart maintains support for employer-mandated health care


Health care is a big issue the Congress needs to deal with because the current system is unsustainable and hurts America’s competitive position in the world, according to Leslie Dach, Walmart’s EVP corporate affairs.

Walmart came out in favor of employer-mandated healthcare earlier this year in a move that surprised many and caused a rift with the National Retail Federation, which opposed such provisions. According to Dach, commenting on the subject during a wide-ranging discussion around Walmart’s improved image that took place during a dinner presentation at the company’s 16th annual fall investor conference, the company’s support of mandated coverage was based on a review of what would be best for its business.

“What was best for our business and our customers and our associates was to cover as many Americans as possible because that would reduce the subsidy that those of us who pay for insurance were paying to support those without insurance,” Dach said. “It would also provide a far more level playing field. We provide excellent coverage. Our coverage is at the top end of retail and we believe that all retailers have a shared responsibility.”

Walmart already provides coverage that is in excess of the mandate coverage levels contained in various bills which contain such provisions, according to Dach.

By supporting employer-mandate health care, Walmart has gained new respect from Democrats and Republicans, which has enabled the company to be part of this debate in a far more effective way than if it had remained on the sidelines, according to Dach.

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