Thursday, January 19, 2006

George Will Wants To Have It Both Ways

Regurgitating his idiotic stance that the extension of any employment-related benefits transforms an employer into a "welfare state", in "Shoplifting as Governance" George Will then pretends that WalMart has the most generous health insurance benefits in the United States:
Eighty-six percent of Wal-Mart employees have health insurance, more than half through the company, which offers 18 plans, one with $11 monthly premiums and another with $3 co-payments.
Perhaps Will doesn't see "lying by omission" as lying, but obviously he's not telling the whole story. Employees are not getting anything close to comprehensive health coverage for "$11 monthly premiums" - they are probably getting a discount card for participating medical service providers. And a plan with "$3 copayments"? If that is a comprehensive plan covering prescriptions and all health care, it may well be the most generous plan in the nation. What are the odds, though, that the plan covers essentially nothing?

He also seems to be complaining that the legislature should have passed a tax instead of, well, a tax.
Maryland's grasping for Wal-Mart's revenue opens a new chapter in the degeneracy of state governments that are eager to spend more money than they have the nerve to collect straightforwardly in taxes.
In standard George Will-branded hypocrisy, no tax on regular working people is too high if it funds a direct or indirect corporate subsidy. And no tax that directly targets a business that is exploiting what amounts to a de facto state subsidy of its workforce is fair, because such notions as personal responsibility and paying your own way should only apply to the working masses and never to corporations.

No wonder Will is a baseball fan.

Will speculates that Wal-Mart may already be almost meeting the state target of spending 8% of its payroll on health care. If so, the burden on Wal-Mart of meeting the new state law would seem to be pretty small. Meanwhile, should I hold my breath waiting for the ever-hypocritical George Will to announce that he is rejecting his own employer-paid health care plan in favor of the Wal-Mart $11/month plan, or the $3 copay plan?

Yeah, right.

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