New England Democrats Target Wal-Mart With Health Care Bill

June 22, 2005 ( - Legislation introduced Wednesday in Congress would require local officials to gather and publicly release the number of employees that companies located in their states have on public health care programs.

>According to a news release, the Health Care Accountability Act (HCAA) is being sponsored by US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), Senator Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey) and US Representative Anthony Weiner (D-New York).

“The gathering and disclosure of this data is critical to estimating the considerable cost taxpayers already bear because of the failure of large, profitable employers who force workers and their families onto public health care assistance,” according to the news release, put out by .  According to the news release, Wal-Mart has more employees, spouses and dependents on state public assistance in at least 12 states than any other employer in the state.

State Slights?

>In Georgia, for example, more than 10,000 children on PeachCare had parents working for Wal-Mart at an estimated cost of $10 million per year. The next largest employer only had 734 children in the program, according to the press release.

>A number of states have targeted Wal-Mart with efforts to tax employers with large populations on public health programs (See Wisconsin Joins Other States in Trying ‘Wal-Mart Tax’ ).