North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › WalMart to the rescue

WalMart to the rescue

Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 35
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 79
I think we're scaring people.
Or else your font smells.
tongue
Kipper_O
Kipper_O.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 1
I read the entries about the problems in Mass., and I'm unsure about the position you all are taking now that Wal-Mart has introduced this initiative.

I will argue that attempting to wring the inefficiencies out of the health care system is what Wal-Mart, and other large companies, SHOULD do. Wal-Mart is our largest employer, aside from the government, and therefore one of the largest consumers of health care in world. They should act selfishly to drive down costs, and demand higher quality care for their employees.

Across the country, health care related costs are often the fastest growing, and largest expenses on the income statements of our businesses. Our government, our third party payer systems, and our health providers' responses to our payment systems have completely removed market efficiencies. One solution for re-introducing market control is for companies like Wal-Mart to collude with other major health care consumers (large businesses) and begin putting real demands on the system.

Health care is one of the few markets where the buyer of the service has no idea what it actually costs, and he often does not care because he is "insured." This has to change. This leads to system underuse, and overuse, causing more strain than necessary on our cost structure. The technical quality of care in our country is often world class, but most providers are not really focused on the patient. Moving to patient-centered access (meaning care is available to the patient, appropriate for the patient, meets the patient's preferences, and timely for the patient) is one way the health care community can begin to move back to a market-driven service industry.

People will argue that Wal-Mart should not do anything that doesn't directly provide increased wealth to shareholders. I could not agree more, but it will take long-term vision to see this initiative through under our short-term market pressures. Wal-Mart is on the top of its game right now, providing returns on equity of over 20%. Lee Scott is extremely indignant when Wal-Mart critics talk about health care, wages, sprawl, etc. Changing the health care system of the entire country would be a big win for Wal-Mart shareholders. Not only would it increase the bottom line over the long run, but it would be a great success story for capitalism/free markets. And if Wal-Mart generates a little positive PR in the process, they can stop messaging in a negative way, and maybe they can grow their top line, too.
Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 36
I take the WalMart initiative to be a very fine example of how private industry can correct itself without need for government regulation. This can only be a win-win situation for WalMart. Hopefully other large corporations that would benefit by a lowering of the company paid portion of the insurance premiums will begin to also push this agenda. WalMart seems to be the new Microsoft on the corporate hate agenda, but I think a lot can be learned from them.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 80
Health care is one of the few markets where the buyer of the service has no idea what it actually costs, and he often does not care because he is "insured." This has to change.

I wish that more people could just understand that simple concept for a start. That was something that I didn't really understand or acknowledge until I was a young adult.

Welcome! Great post.

(BTW...my comment was just teasing Travis about the fact that he and I have had several posts lately with out replies. I was picking on him at home, and figured II would here. That's all.)
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