Wal-Mart Stores, the nations largest employer, has endorsed a requirement that businesses provide health insurance to workers as part of healthcare reform, in a letter to President Barack Obama.
We are for shared responsibility, Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, wrote in the letter. Not every business can make the same contribution, but everyone must make some contribution.
The letter was also signed by Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union and John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress.
Any employer mandate should be fair and broad in coverage, and an alternative should not create barriers to hiring entry-level employees, according to the letter.
Support for a mandate also requires the strongest possible commitment to rein in healthcare costs, Duke, Stern and Podesta wrote. They said one way of ensuring savings is to implement pre-specified targets for spending growth and enact a trigger that automatically enforces reductions. This idea was put forth recently by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Howard Baker.