Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wal-Mart wins big

Remember when Maryland passed a law in 2006 forcing Wal-Mart -- but only Wal-Mart -- to spend more on employee health care? The healthcare socialists cheered and the badly-managed state figured that they could shift some of their medicaid burden to a corporation loathed by Democrats. (Because Wal-Mart isn't unionized.)

Not gonna happen. A second court found that the Maryland’s "fair-share health care rule" violated federal labor laws, the concept that states can compel companies to offer more generous health care is suddenly in doubt, experts said.
By a 2-to-1 ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Baltimore found that the Maryland requirement — which affected only Wal-Mart — violated a 32-year-old federal labor law known by its shorthand, Erisa.

The law, known to regulators as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, was intended to allow big companies to set up uniform health benefits across the country, rather than navigate state-by-state requirements.
Guess whose brilliant idea it was in the first place??

“State level health care reform is still possible, but it’s not going to be the Maryland model,” said Naomi Walker, the director of state legislative programs at the A.F.L - C.I.O. which lobbied for the Maryland law. “We have to go back to the drawing board.”

No. Just back to following the law.

This is how the union thugs tried to screw Wal-Mart. "Specifically, the Maryland law forced corporations with 10,000 or more workers to spend 8 percent of their payrolls on health insurance, or pay the difference into a state fund. Four companies in the state have more than 10,000 workers, but only Wal-Mart met all the criteria." Soo prize! Soo prize!

There's always something so Soviet style about union tactics, isn't there?

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