Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Conservative Federal Judge Overturns Maryland Law Requiring Wal-Mart To Spend More On Employee Health Care

With the packing of America's courts with right wing, conservative judges, big companies like Wal-Mart find they can override the intentions of state governments to control huge public health expeditures and force large companies like Wal-Mart to provide a minimum of just 8% of their employee payrolls on health care benefits.

In Maryland, the state legislature sought to control the ballooning Medicaid budget of $4.6 billion dollars and passed a bill intended to limit the public having to subsidize large employers such as Wal-Mart only paying near the minimum wage for employees and failing to provide a decent percentage of these employees with health care benefits. A bill intended to provide that at least 8% of the company payrolls should be provided by Wal-Mart. This bill faced veto by Republican Governor, Robert Ehrlich, at a ceremony arranged by Wal-Mart executives looking on, and a high school band hired to play patriotic music. It was typical right wing class warfare against the working poor. Wave the American flag, and play patriotic music while employees are condemned to low wages and largely seeking assistance from public health programs when they become sick. Some big companies expect to pay very low wages and have others pick up the tab to provide a minimum of basic essential services to their less than living wage exploited employees.

The Maryland legislature was able to override the veto of right wing Gov. Ehrlich, but Wal-Mart was not done with their legal options to avoid providing many of their employees health care benefits. By appealing the law to the Federal Courts, Judge J. Frederick Motz, who was appointed to office by Ronald Reagan, sided with Wal-Mart and struck down the law, leaving the public with subsidizing the health care of many Wal-Mart employees who are now forced to seek out public welfare services to subsidize their low paying jobs with some sort of health benefits.

This is only the latest act of class warfare against the working poor of the U.S. Daily they are exploited for their labor to make some wealthy materialists billionaires in the U.S. , while the working poor stand in welfare lines to seek a minimum lifestyle for themselves. 2/3 of the U.S. Senate are millionaires, yet they have failed to raise the minimum wage since 1997 for the working poor of America, while Congress gets a yearly cost of living increase. Gasoline for example has nearly doubled in price since the start of the 2003 Iraq War, and Congress gets extra compensation for this war that they voted for that nearly double gas prices, but stubbornly refuse to offer the working poor of the U.S. the same sort of actual cost of living increases in wages to keep up with hyperinflation in energy prices, rent and medical expenses.


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