The Obamacare express has taken out its newest victims – this time Walmart employees working less than 30 hours per week. Forbes reports that Walmart will eliminate employer-sponsored health care benefits for 1.2 million workers that fall into this category.
Walmart wrote in a blog post announcing the decision,
“Anyone who has been following the news for the last several years knows that health care is a major topic of debate. From doctors’ visits and prescriptions to insurance premiums, health care costs have increased for all of us – individuals and the companies that insure them – each year. Knowing this, Walmart continues to work with health care providers and professionals, using our size and influence to negotiate the best rates and options for our associates.”
“Like every company, Walmart continues to face rising health care costs. This year, the expenses were significant and led us to make some tough decisions as we begin our annual enrollment.”
Walmart pointed out that Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Trader Joe’s have also cut health benefits to part-time workers.
Obamacare with its essential benefits package and one-size-fits-all approach to health care makes it economically infeasible for companies to offer health care benefits to low wage workers. Even large, highly successful retailers like Walmart with considerable negotiating power are finding it impossible to control costs and retain highly valued health care benefits.
And that is the sad irony of the Obamacare tale: A much-feted government program which was to secure health care for all, actually takes health care away – especially from those on the lower end of the income scale, hardworking people, many juggling two or three jobs to stay afloat.