"As health care reform enters the next phase, we came together at this point in the debate to add our combined voices to the momentum building behind reform. We believe the time for comprehensive reform is now. The present system is not sustainable. The status quo is not an option.
"We applaud the bipartisan efforts in Congress to craft and pass legislation.
"We are pleased that Walmart, Service Employees International Union and Center for American Progress can support three essential elements that should be included in any health care reform legislation--an employer mandate, strong efficiency provisions and a 'trigger' mechanism to ensure cost reductions.
"At Walmart, we believe in shared responsibility and support an employer mandate that is broad and fair. We believe the mandate should cover as many businesses as possible, and cover part-time as well as full-time employees. Any alternative to an employer mandate should not create barriers or disincentives to hiring workers with disabilities, entry level employees, or people from low income families.
"We are entering a critical time where those of us who will be asked to pay for health care reform will have to make a choice on whether to support this legislation. The choice will require employers to consider the trade off of a coverage mandate and higher taxes for the promise of a reduction in health care cost increases. We also believe that a mandate must be accompanied by provisions that will reduce health costs and dramatically improve the value we get for our health care dollar.
"And the promise of savings in the bill must be more than just words. The bill should contain 'trigger' provisions that guarantee that promised savings take place both for the federal government and for employers who provide insurance. Walmart believes that if we support a mandate and are being asked to pay higher taxes, we should be assured in return, that savings will be real."
--Leslie Dach, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations
Ed. Note: Walmart is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.