State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
I have written several blogs during the past two years recognizing Wal-Mart efforts at developing affordable heath care.
Wal-Mart has opened clinics staffed by certified nurse practitioners that treat common family illnesses such as sore throat, ear infection, seasonal allergies and bronchitis. Cholesterol screenings, TB testing and flu vaccinations are also available. Other retailers like Target, CVS, and Walgreens have followed suit. Wal-Mart has also revolutionized access to prescription drugs, offering $4 medications.
During May 2008, Jim Jubak, senior markets editor for MSN Money went so far as to recommended in a column that Wal-Mart run the health care system.
Now comes word from the Washington Post that Wal-Mart’s successful trend continues. The newspaper reports, “Washington policymakers contemplating a fundamental overhaul of the nation's troubled health-care system may want to study the saga of Wal-Mart. Once vilified for its stingy health benefits, the world's largest company has become an unlikely leader in the effort to provide affordable care without bankrupting employers, their workers or taxpayers in the process.”
Only 5.5 percent of Wal-Mart employees are un-insured, compared to the national rate of 18 percent. Wal-Mart has implemented digital records, and has teamed up with the renowned Mayo Clinic.
The Wal-Mart experience, though not perfect, has had more than enough progress to have observers calling the huge retailer an “innovator” and “leader” in health care. The public sector would be wise to pay attention.
Read more in the Washington Post.
Read my previous blogs on this issue:
Wal-Mart to the rescue
Walgreens follows Wal-Mart’s lead
Wal-Mart to the rescue, again
Business writer says Wal-Mart equipped to run health care system