Pass along a news tip by clicking HERE.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wal-Mart, KFC And McDonald's Workers: So Poor Ohio Taxpayers Pay Their Health Care Costs

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning think tank, reports the state government is paying more for the health care costs of the working poor who qualify for Medicaid: "The three employers with the most workers enrolled in Medicaid on average in Ohio were Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Yum! Brands, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell." Altogether, there were 50 employers with about 111,000 people whose medical benefits were subsidized by Medicaid, a welfare program.

"The state of Ohio paid an estimated $111.5 million in 2007 to cover Medicaid costs for workers and their dependents at the 50 Ohio employers that appeared most frequently in data collected by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Altogether, 111,046 participants in family and children’s Medicaid worked at these employers or were family members of workers.

"The total approximate cost to Ohio of workers and their dependents using Medicaid at employers for whom a four-year comparison was possible increased 29 percent, to $107.6 million last year from $83.4 million in 2004, in inflation adjusted 2007 dollars.

"Enrollment in Medicaid and food stamp programs continued to grow at these employers between 2004 and 2007, increasing by 14.6 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively, over that time. Employee and dependent participation in cash assistance declined 21.6percent during the same period."


  1. So are you for or against this practice? We need the total picture. I see these people keeping food costs down for the public. Now if some fat cat is getting rich, well that is another story. But that is not caused by the food industry, but it is part of our system that pays high amounts to CEOs and investors and cares little about the proletariat.

    These guys are just playing by the rules and the rule need some changing.

    Dieter Schmied

  2. While I realize that Wal-Mart seems to be everyone's favorite target...when reading the report? This jumped out at me:

    The number of employees and their dependents receiving Medicaid jumped most sharply over the
    four-year period at the Akron-based telemarketer Infocision, the retailer Target and the Cleveland
    Clinic Health System. These three employers each saw an increase of more than 40 percent from
    2004 to 2007.

    You'd think those who had such a large increase would merit attention...


  3. Dieter --

    The larger point is that some kind of health care reform is needed.

  4. LisaRenee --

    The largest employers have huge numbers of part-time workers. Benefits fall short, or are too costly. The government steps in to fill the gap. This system is piecemeal and really isn't very fair. Some employers pay and pay through the nose, and their workers do too for coverage. Others skimp. There is a bit of irony in the fact that the goods produced in China for Wal-Mart come from a country that provides health care to its citizens. They are sold in the USA by a company whose workers frequently received tax-subsidized health care from a welfare program. They just can't afford to purchase the market-priced coverage. I do think that meaningful reform would come -- and come quickly -- if Congress and the political class lost their perks and benefits. Healthcare and energy are huge problems, and everybody has known a day of reckoning was coming . . .