As employees fall through the Wal-Mart safety net, taxpayers catch them — and end up with the bill:

Letting Workers and Families Rely on Public Programs. A memo written by Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart Executive Vice President for Benefits, for the Wal-Mart Board of Directors, said: “We also have a significant number of Associates and their children who receive health insurance through public-assistance programs. Five percent of our Associates are on Medicaid compared to an average for national employers of 4 percent. Twenty-seven percent of Associates’ children are on such programs, compared to a national average of 22 percent (Exhibit 5). In total, 46 percent of Associates’ children are either on Medicaid or are uninsured.” Chambers wrote, “Wal-Mart’s critics can easily exploit some aspects of our benefits offering to make their case; in other words, our critics are correct in some of their observations. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for low-income families, and Wal-Mart has a significant percentage of associates and their children on public assistance.” [Susan Chambers Memo to the Wal-Mart Board of Directors; New York Times, 10/26/05]

 Topping State Rankings of Employees on Public Care. In 21 states, Wal-Mart leads the list of companies with the most employees and dependents enrolled in state-funded health care programs. In all states that have released such data — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin — Wal-Mart tops the list. In Arkansas, where Wal-Mart’s own headquarters is located, 3,971 of Wal-Mart’s 45,106 employees are on public assistance. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/17/05; Federal Register Source; Associated Press, 3/3/05; St. Petersburg Times, 3/25/05; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/27/04; Associated Press, 3/4/05; Great Falls Tribune, 6/26/05; Omaha World-Herald, 10/19/05; Associated Press, 5/12/05; Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/2/06; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/20/05; Salt Lake Tribune, 2/5/06; Vermont Guardian, 4/18/05; Seattle Times, 1/24/06; Charleston Gazette, 12/26/04; The Capital Times, 11/4/04; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/24/05; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/17/05]

Forcing Higher Medicaid Spending. Michael Hicks, an economist at the Air Force Institute of Technology at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, conducted a study analyzing state Medicaid data from 1978 to 2003 and found that Wal-Mart causes an increase in state Medicaid spending by as much as $898 per person. [Business Week, 10/26/05]

  • In 2007, a Wall Street Journal story exposed Wal-Mart’s questionable practice of exploiting tax loopholes to dodge property taxes in several states.
  • An AFL-CIO 2006 report shows Wal-Mart consistently tops state Medicaid rosters, as the company’s health plan remains inaccessible to thousands of its employees.
  • A Good Jobs First report showed that Wal-Mart consistently appeals property tax assessments
  • Advertisements