Wal-Mart's Believe It or Not: 90 Percent of Workers Have Health Insurance

Wal-Mart had already announced an attempt to rewrite its public image through the hire of ex-political operatives and creation of a social responsibility ad campaign. The company has now released an internal study claiming that the overwhelming majority (90 percent) of its workers have health coverage--just not Wal-Mart's health coverage. About 40 percent of workers get insurance from some other program (through spouses, federal entitlement or aid programs, parents). The company also acknowledges that less than two-thirds of eligible workers sign up for Wal-Mart's plan, well below the industry average of 75 percent. Far from a good example, says Wake-Up Wal-Mart spokesman Nu Wexler, the study shows "Wal-Mart's health-care plan remains a raw deal for its employees." The New York Times' treatment of the company's announcement nabbed the headline, "Wal-Mart Says Health Plan is Covering More Workers," while the Post headline states "Many Workers at Wal-Mart Don't Use Its Health Plans."