globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca / By Mike “Mish” Shedlock / Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:07 AM
Once again I am here to sing the praises of Walmart. Over the years I have done so on many occasions.
Many misguided souls take the other side. They blame Walmart for ruining mom and pop grocery stores, mom and pop hardware stores, etc.
Not me, I praise cheaper prices. Moreover, it’s what consumers voted for with there hard-earned dollars.
If anyone wants to pay more for stuff, all they have to do is shop at a mom and pop hardware store, grocery store, or pharmacy. Most don’t because they want a bargain.
Today, I have good news. Walmart-style competition may be on the way in the healthcare business.
The Orlando Business Journal writes Wal-Mart exploring private health insurance exchange for small biz.
Wal-Mart is exploring the idea of building a private health insurance exchange tailored to offer cheaper health insurance to small businesses, a vice president told Orlando Business Journal Jan. 11.
Marcus Osborne, vice president of health and wellness payer relations for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), spoke to OBJ after his keynote speech at the Foundation of Associated Industries of Florida’s 2013 Health Care Affordability Summit. Osborne said Wal-Mart wants to work with insurers and managed care companies to find new, low-cost health insurance options tailored for small companies, which historically have limited options.
The idea is to offer those products through a health insurance exchange — or as Osborne said, simply a marketplace — that would leverage Wal-Mart’s buying and marketing power to make the exchanges widely available and used. “It would allow small employers to piggyback Wal-Mart,” Osborne said. “We haven’t got it all figured out, but it’s one of the things we’re looking at.”
“The biggest problem today small employers face from a health insurance perspective is they have no alternatives,” Osborne said. “If they find anything, they’ve got to take it. There’s something wrong with that.”