In Walmart Vs. Obamacare War, Walmart Employers Lose Big Time

by
Owen Poindexter
A fight that pits Obamacare on one side, Walmart and Republican governors on the other and the Supreme Court in the middle has no winners and one big loser: Walmart employees.


Walmart employees stand to lose hours and not gain health benefits as a result of a feud between Obamacare and Walmart. PHOTO: Reuters

Pretty soon, Walmart employees in Republican states could be in a bad situation. Here's the deal: two major components of Obamacare are that employees who work 30 hours a week or more are required to get healthcare from their employers (that is, their employers are required to give them healtch benefits under Obamacare) and Obamacare also calls for a major expansion of Medicaid. Both measures are designed to provide health coverage to low-wage workers, such as the ones who work at Walmart, by having the government and employers each pick up some of the tab. Walmart, like Papa John's and Applebees, have spoken publicly about ducking the Obamacare requirement by reducing employee hours to below 30.

But those Walmart employees would get swept up by the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, right? Not necessarily.. That's how the law was written, but the Supreme Court, despite upholding the law, did decide that states could opt out of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. Republican governors in Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Maine and South Dakota have indicated that they plan on doing that.

The result: Walmart workers in those states get a double whammy: reduced hours and no healthcare. It's not a sure thing that this will come to pass exactly as describes, but that's where this train is headed, and no one is planning on changing its course.

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