Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hail Socialist Maryland. Lenin is pleased.

Bidness: Now we know that Maryland lawmakers are in large part...morons.

Maryland lawmakers bucked the will of the state's Republican governor and the nation's largest retailer yesterday, voting to become the first state to effectively require that Wal-Mart spend more on employee health care. In a veto reversal that was closely watched nationally, lawmakers in the Democrat-led General Assembly voted largely along party lines for a measure that legislatures in more than 30 states are considering replicating. "Maryland is not a shrinking violet -- no, far from it," said Sen. Gloria G. Lawlah (D-Prince George's), a lead sponsor of the legislation, which drew strong backing from labor unions and health care advocates. "Maryland is a leader. Let us light the torch today. Let us lead." The Senate voted 30-17 for the bill after a filibuster attempt by Republicans. The House followed last night with an 88-50 vote that handed Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) a defeat early in the legislative session on a bill he argues is an unwarranted government intrusion into business. The bill will require private companies with more than 10,000 employees in Maryland to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on employee health benefits or make a contribution to the state's insurance program for the poor. Wal-Mart, which employs about 17,000 Marylanders, is the only known company of such size that does not meet that spending requirement. Wal-Mart spokesman Nate Hurst said the votes were driven by "partisan politics." "This vote was never about health care," Hurst said. "In allowing a bad bill to become a bad law, the General Assembly took a giant step backward and placed the special interests of Washington, D.C., union leaders ahead of the well-being of the people they serve. And that's wrong."
Time for Walmart to start closing stores and go below the 10000 mark. This is government forcing private business to give more health care to people. This is socialism brought on by unions at its finest.
"The legislation has resonated in Maryland and beyond in part because it is viewed as a relatively easy and inexpensive way for lawmakers to expand access to health care and because Wal-Mart, a company with a reputation for stingy benefits, is considered an easy target. "We don't want to kill this giant. We want this giant to behave itself," said Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince George's County), the lead sponsor in the House. "We want this giant not to be a bully." The bill drew spirited opposition from Republican legislators, who argued that supporters were trying to punish an unpopular company and help its unionized rivals. Opponents also predicted that lawmakers would gradually expand the bill to include smaller businesses. "This is a revenge bill," said Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's). "This isn't about health care." Democratic lawmakers countered that the bill was intended to make large employers pay their "fair share" of health costs. Wal-Mart says that more than three-quarters of its sales associates have health insurance but acknowledged that some of its low-wage workers are on Medicaid, the state insurance program for the poor. Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's) argued that the bill would "take people who should be getting health care at the workplace off the rolls."
It is not you God-given right to get health care and certainly no business of any government to force private businesses to pay their "fair share" All this extra cost is going to be covered by raising prices on goods that surprise! people who shop at Walmart will have to cover.
"Supporters predicted that Maryland's success would give a lift to similar legislative initiatives elsewhere. Vincent DeMarco, who lobbied for the bill as president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, said he has been invited to speak to several national groups about Maryland's experience. "This is going to sweep the nation because people have been looking for a way to expand health care access and spread the burden," DeMarco said. Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a national health care advocacy group, said some initiatives that have emerged in other states are more expansive than Maryland's, affecting more than just the largest employers."
Tremendous, get used to paying more at businesses large and small all over the nation. This will not stop until every business has to pay.
"Bruce Josten of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said he could not predict what other states would do. But Josten said Maryland's approach "completely misses the mark." Josten said that roughly 25 million of the more than 45 million uninsured Americans work for companies with 10 or fewer employees. "This in no way gets to the root of the problem," he said. Hurst said there are 786,000 uninsured people in Maryland, and fewer than one-half of 1 percent of them work for Wal-Mart."
But its not a bill to get Walmart right? Unions have messed up every other industry, now they are going after Walmart. If other retailers are snickering, realize they won't stop there, it will just keep going. Good luck on getting any other big companies to come to Maryland by the way.

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