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February 08, 2007
Wal-Mart Works with Unions on Universal Health Care

Wal-Mart has teamed with two unions, three large employers, and several other organizations to launch a campaign to reform the nation's healthcare system by 2012.

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Wal-Mart is one of the founding members of the "Better Health Care Together" campaign. Other founding members include AT&T, the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Center for American Progress, the Committee for Economic Development, the Communications Workers of America, Intel, Kelly Services, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 

The organizations plan on convening a national summit and recruit additional business, labor, government and nonprofit leaders to sign on to four principles and form a wide-ranging coalition.

The four principles of the campaign are:

  1. Every person in America must have quality, affordable health insurance coverage;
  2. Individuals have a responsibility to maintain and protect their health;
  3. America must dramatically improve the value it receives for every healthcare dollar; and
  4. Businesses, governments, and individuals all should contribute to managing and financing a new American healthcare system.

"It is time to admit that the employer based health care is dead," says Andy Stern, president of SEIU.  "We can't keep tinkering, hoping that incremental change will fix our broken health care system.  We need fundamental change, and it is going to take new thinking, leadership, new partnerships, some risk taking, and compromising to make it happen.  But that is what we all owe our country."

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