With the developing of the world the question about the healthcare system began to be a very important issue. According to official data, the total health expenditure in the U.S. in 2008 exceeded by2.1 trillion dollars, it means that $ 7,000 was spent for each man, woman and child. Costs of state insurance companies Medicare jumped by a record 18.7%. All health care costs now represent 16% of GDP. It is expected that within 7 years this data will reach 20% of GDP. Nevertheless, the high cost of health care not always is considered to be a negative phenomenon (Wal-Mart Corporate). America is a rich country and can afford to spend much money on the healthcare system, however not all the institutions in the country pay the same attention to health of their workers as the government.
Granting the access to safe, affordable and high quality health care system is a task facing big and small enterprises in the whole country. However, in some enterprises the health care system more seems to be unhealthy. According to the latest statistics, the influences of the enterprises that have unhealthy conditions are crucial. Thus, due to this near 46 million Americans are uninsured. Mostly uninsured are the young people aged from 19 to 34 and they make a quarter of the whole working force of the country. 32% of the whole uninsured workers are those who work full time. The statistic says that only 60% of employees of the big companies are offered to be insured. It is for 69% less that were five years ago (Wal-Mart Corporate).
The general reason is that it became unprofitable for the companies to provide their workers with the insurance. First of all, the cost of the insurance had raised quicker, that the profit from sales. Secondly, the employers made the focus on the amount of sales more, than on the health of their workers: new workers can be employed every day; the level of sales can`t be increased so fast.
The health care issues are burning in the Wal-Mart enterprise. If not to evaluate the health care system in Wal-Mart deeply, it can be said, that it has no drawbacks. However, the situation, which is represented on the paper, is different to those that is in reality. Many workers are dissatisfied with the current health care situation.
Firstly it should be said, that Wal-Mart`s health care system is universal due to the variety of workforce. Thus, the workers are divided into several groups, and have differed health care insurances. In general, Wal-Mart has around 1.3 million workers. Most of them work full time, it means 34 hours per week (Wal-Mart Corporate). However, many of them are part-timers, especially the students that work in order to have some extra money or gain experience. Thus, the insurance details are different for those, who work full time and to those who work part time.
One can come to the conclusion, that Wal-Mart has perfect health care system due to the Wal-Mart`s recent statistic. According to it, the total expenditure for the insurance of the workers has been growing each year by 19% for the last three years. The expenditure for the benefits for the workers was $4.7 billion in 2006 and has been growing by 15 % during the same period of time (Wal-Mart Corporate). What is more, Wal-Mart had provided the workers with the new system that is called Dossia. The main peculiarity of this system is that all the information about the health care system, as well as the information about the worker’s health, will be available in the internet, but only in the private form. It is similar to the system in the hospital, however in the on-line regime.
However, due to the latest facts, the situation with the health care of workers is different from one that is in the statistic. Recently the workers have been protesting against the Wal-Mart`s unethical treatments towards them. The lie of protests was raised because of the new Wal-Mart`s policy. It was announced, that Wal-Mart is going to cut the amount of money, that was spend on the worker`s insurance. As the result, the great influence was made on the part time workers. The expenditure on their insurance was cut, at the same time when the expenditure on the premiums for the full time workers was raised. In addition, due to the new rules, the workers who smoke do not receive the insurance. According to the Wal-Mart`s policy, this restriction would fight with the problems that are caused because of smoking, and would increase the worker`s productivity, because of decreasing of the time wasted to smoke. All the reduction, according to Maneesha Tiwari and Jessica Wohl report, will lead to the following situation: “Wal-Mart will now provide $250 for associates to use for healthcare expenses that are not covered, down from $500, and will provide $500 for families, down from $1,000” (Jessica Wohl, 2011). What is more, if to make the data analysis of the Wal-Mart`s health care expenders, it can be noticed, that the average benefit cost spent for the worker`s health will rise up to 5.4% till the 2012. This is the smallest data since 1997 (Jessica Wohl, 2011).
Political trade unions and community leaders have accused the U.S. Wal-Mart that the company gives employees miserable wages and profit at the expense of taxpayers. In total there were held 30 campaign meetings, which attracted the attention of some senators.
The campaign was carried by the organization “Wal-Mart, wake up” and two teachers' associations. 2000 people had attended the meeting. Disgruntled citizens believe that the retailer had “chased profits and forgot about moral values”. The activists called on compatriots to boycott Wal-Mart stores in preparation for the new school year.
In response, Wal-Mart released a statement that it enjoys warm and strong relations with the American teachers, schools and families. The company is pleased to help them to prepare for the new academic year. Last year, the retailer has not only set record low prices for office supplies, but also provided more than $ 45 million for educational programs and scholarships (Goessl, 2011).
The example of the tough health care strategy can be the story that has happened to one of the Wal-Mart worker Debby Shank. She was working on stocking shelves. After the car accident the worker received the severe brain damage. Wal-Mart refused to pay health insurance expenses. Debby and her husband suited the company to recoup $470,000; however the court took a decision to recoup only $275,000. Only after the case was reviewed in the Supreme Court, all the expenses were covered.“Occasionally, others help us step back and look at a situation in a different way. This is one of those times,” the Executive Vice President Pat Curran wrote her letter. “We have all been moved by Ms. Shank's extraordinary situation.” Randi Kaye. (2008)
However, despite the negative reputation of Wal-Mart, at any concerns, corporation has irreparable influence on the U.S. (and world) economy. Today, the company employs about 100 thousand people. The available net income of the shareholders of the company for I quarter of 2011-2012 fiscal year, which ended April 30 increased by 3% - to $ 3.4 billion compared with $ 3.3 billion, in the same period a year earlier. Wal-Mart is one of the world's largest retailer. For September 2010 it included more than 8.5 thousand stores in 15 countries (among them - 4.4 thousand in the U.S. and the rest - in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, India, Japan and several European countries) (Wal-Mart Corporate). All these provide Wal-Mart with the power, that can influence the world`s economy and can have its own health care policy.