As we reported in September, Walmart is preparing for an expansion in the health care industry like never before. A Forbes article hailed it as great news for consumers and a crucial component of our nation’s drive to expand affordable health care. Now recent reports indicate that Walmart, traditionally a company that leans conservative, is doing what it can to get President Obama re-elected. The reason can be spelled out in in on nifty political slogan: Obamacare.
The fear that one day people could be born at discounted prices and die in Walmart, be turned into goo and used in fertilizer is not realized but there is reason for concern.
The Washingtonexaminer is reporting Walmart heir Sam Walton has given big to Obama’s SuperPac:
This is at first surprising for a couple of reasons. First, the Waltons tend to be Republican. Second, the conventional wisdom is that megacorps like Wal-Mart are a Republican thing.
But Sam Walton gave the maximum $30,800 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008, and $40,000 to the OVF this election.
Policy-wise, there’s plenty of reason for the Waltons to like Barack Obama:
Wal-Mart endorsed the employer mandate in ObamaCare, which gives Wal-Mart an advantage by crushing smaller competitors.
Wal-Mart has profited from Dodd-Frank, which fixes the price Wal-Mart has to pay banks for processing debit cards.
Wal-Mart has lobbied for and profits from higher minimum wage.
Wal-Mart is a top beneficiary of eminent domain takings, a government power protected by the types of judges Obama appoints.
Big Business generally benefits from Big Government.
Add to that a strange story and survey on the recent presidential debates and you can see Walmart just can’t get enough of the election:
In bipartisan research funded by Walmart, a group of 20 undecided “Walmart moms” from Florida watched last night’s final presidential debate with dialmeters in hand providing instant reaction to what the candidates were saying.The two pollsters conducting the focus group, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, found that the moms scored the debate “almost a tie” but gave the slight edge to President Barack Obama, who they saw as more confident.Several moms also said they were looking for a “wow” moment to help them decide which candidate to vote for and they didn’t find one. They mirror the view from some analysts this morning.
This makes it obvious why Walmart would support Obama’s health care plan. It also highlights the self-contradictory stances people take when supporting (higher) minimum wage and yet claim to dislike Walmart. It looks like the same is true on the health care debate, as mandates lead to increased power by companies, which leads to less options for consumers.