Walmart can’t take a loss to provide affordable healthcare? | Peak

Recently, Walmart announced that they are beginning to close all 51 healthcare and telehealth facilities in multiple states. This comes after we pledged just a year ago to expand these community enrichment programs.

They cite a valid business reason: the inability to operate these facilities profitably. That is fair. But remember Walmart, one of the most profitable companies in the world, owned by the richest family in America. And they can’t afford to take a loss to provide affordable healthcare options for their customers or their employees?

Our nation’s largest private employer, whose workforce is largely subsidized by taxpayers (the vast majority of Walmart employees qualify for both food and Medicaid assistance), is unwilling to run part of their multibillion-dollar business at a loss to provide what is often the only healthcare option for their clients?

I know I can easily tell how the Walton family and Walmart should spend their money. But Walmart has no problem limiting its employees’ ability to earn a living wage by limiting the number of hours they can work per week, or limiting their health benefits by not allowing them to work full-time. Walmart has no problem making billions and billions in profits, thanks in part to the fact that we as taxpayers subsidize their workforce.

How much is enough profit, Walmart? If billions and billions aren’t enough, what is?

Isn’t a healthy customer base good for business? Wouldn’t you think that Walmart has a vested interest in ensuring that their customers, not to mention their own employees, have access to affordable healthcare? What about the extra trips to Walmart that people will no longer make because they have to go somewhere else to pick up their prescriptions? If Walmart is going to abolish healthcare, will Kroger and Albertsons be next?

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I think a good company is one that invests not only in its employees, but also in its community. Is it too much to ask that Walmart invest a small percentage of their billions in annual profits to keep their customers and employees healthier? What does this mean for the people who have come to rely on Walmart for their health needs? Do we really need to do more to limit access to healthcare, all for profit?

And I’m no tax expert, but I bet Walmart has a building full of lawyers who can find a way to write off those losses to provide health care to their communities and employees.

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