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Fox News “Business” Show Suggests Wal-Mart Should Run Health Care

Reported by Guest Blogger - August 24, 2009 -

On Saturday’s (8/22/09) Cashin’ In, the lopsided panel's conservatives cheered on the idea of Wal-Mart getting into health care. Host Terry Keenan even suggested that maybe Wal-Mart should run the U.S. health care system. We're willing to bet that these folks have never done any serious shopping in a Wal-Mart store, have never waited in line for customer service there, have never schlepped through a Wal-Mart only to find that their preferred item or brand is out that day. I’m also willing to bet that when they gushed over the possibility of Wal-Mart taking over health care, the panelists really meant that it was good enough for Wal-Mart shoppers - while they planned to keep their own high-quality insurance. With video.

Steve Leser, of OpEdNews.com, said, "This is smoke and mirrors and it really doesn’t help a whole lot to helping with health care.”

Tracy Byrnes said, "If nothing else… it’s making (people) feel like somebody's looking out for them... All we hear about is how the pharmaceutical companies are robbing us left and right… I think at the end of the day, you do save money. They did have prior to this the generic pay $4… So Wal-Mart's been trying all along to help people out, and I actually think… they’re doing a pretty good job at it."

Wayne Rogers said, "I think it's a question of saying that the free market competition is better than regulation… If you have competition in the market place, prices will come down, consumers get the best deal. If you have it dominated by one entity, in this case the government, you’re going to have price fixing… Regulation, get rid of, let the competition do it."

Keenan said, "Why not let them into this arena, maybe they should manage the whole thing?"

Jonas Max Ferris said, "They don’t do shoulder surgery at Wal-Mart so to some extent, there’s limitations to what they can do… It's actually a case of where a large, single payer can drive down prices." Ferris noted that Wal-Mart can dictate prices because it’s so big and, therefore, the government might be able to do the same thing in a single-payer system.

Keenan asked Jonathan Hoenig if Ferris had just made "a case for the government getting into this?"

"Well they're already in it, Terry,” Hoenig said. “That's the problem… The federal government already accounts for more than half the health care spending in this country... I do think that a free market solution, forget the fact that it's moral, it is more practical, and God I wish Wal-Mart would get into the hospital business. I wish they performed shoulder surgeries. Patients and doctors, the whole country would be better off for it."

"I don't think doctors would like that so much,” Leser commented. “I think that doctors would get paid $20 an hour."

Byrnes asked, "Why is everyone so afraid of Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart is capitalism at its best. It does something right."

Comment: So does Walgreen’s and my local supermarket which also has $4 generic medications but that doesn’t mean we want them running our health care.

Reported by Brian and Ellen