MaxTax Is a Plan to Use Our Taxes to Reward Wal-Mart for Keeping Its Workers in Poverty

I made this point in this post, but I’m going to repeat it over and over and over until it sinks MaxTax, the Baucus health care plan.

MaxTax is a plan that will use your and my tax dollars to reward companies like Wal-Mart for keeping its workers in poverty. Here’s why.

In most cases, the MaxTax fines employers up to $400 per employee if it doesn’t provide its employees with health care. The fine is absurdly small (less than half of what individuals, themselves, would be fined if they didn’t get insurance), but it could mean a company like Wal-Mart would have to pay up to $560 million if it refused to provide insurance to any of its employees.

The other option is to provide crap insurance for your employees. MaxTax gives very few requirements for this insurance (and it allows you to charge employees up to 13% of their income in premiums). But assume Wal-Mart decided to provide incredibly crappy insurance at a cost of $2,500 an employee. It would then pay $3.5 billion a year to meet its obligations under MaxTax. 

So Wal-Mart chooses between paying $560 million or $3.5 billion right?

There is another option.

The MaxTax offers this one, giant, out for corporations.

A Medicaid-eligible individual can always choose to leave the employer’s coverage and enroll in Medicaid. In this circumstance, the employer is not required to pay a fee.

In other words, the one way–just about the only way–a large employer can dodge responsibility for paying something for its employees is if its employees happen to qualify for Medicaid. Under MaxTax, Medicaid eligibility will be determined by one thing: whether a person makes less than 133% of the poverty rate. And who has the most control over how much a particular person makes? Their employer!

So if Wal-Mart wanted to avoid paying anything for its employees under MaxTax, it could simply make sure that none of them made more than $14,403 a year (they’d have to do this by ensuring their employees worked fewer than 40 hours a week, since this works out to be slightly less than minimum wage). Or, a single mom with two kids could make $24,352–a whopping $11.71 an hour, working full time. That’s more than the average Wal-Mart employee made last year. So long as Wal-Mart made sure its employees applied for Medicaid (something it already does in states where its employees are eligible), it would pay nothing. Nada, zip. Nothing. 

It would pay nothing while struggling middle class families would be forced to pay up to 31% of their incomes for health care.

Now obviously, it’s got to employ at least a few people who make more than poverty wages. But hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees would qualify for and be provided for by Medicaid. Assuming that just 500,000 qualified, it would save Wal-Mart $1.25 billon of that $3.5 billion. 

A $1.25 billion reward to Wal-Mart–a competitive advantage it would have–for paying shit wages.

And who will be paying that reward to encourage Wal-Mart to continue to pay shit wages? Why, that’d be our taxes, yours and mine. 

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

88 Responses to MaxTax Is a Plan to Use Our Taxes to Reward Wal-Mart for Keeping Its Workers in Poverty

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @ProtestEasyGuns: HORROR IN AMERICA CONTINUES: 2 die in school shooting near Seattle... http://t.co/wm2nZWAr8d
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @StevenTDennis: The north doors of the Palm Room. Where I stood after WH refused full pool access to Nina Pham meeting in Oval http://t.…
2mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @IraHeatBeat: Pelicans trim their roster to the regular-season limit of 15, with former Gator forward Patric Young making the cut to thi…
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV For the eighty-seventh time since Sandy Hook, it's too soon to talk about how easy it is for disturbed people to get guns. #FuckTheNRA
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @declanm Not gonna do much good in CA. @BradMossEsq @Krhawkins5
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: Member of FARC Terrorist Org Sentenced to 27 Yrs in Prison on Hostage-Taking Charges in 2003 Capture of US Citizens http:…
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Thought bubble: "Goddamnit, Denis, if I die because of this and Joe gets to take over I'll never forgive you."
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel So game this out, hivemind. What if GOP wins the Senate, but McConnell loses? What kind of Majority Leader would John Cornyn make?
28mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Time to put down your bets on the news dump hour. Will it be Preet for AG or does BO wait for R control of Sen next month for even worse?
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @declanm Unless of course McConnell goes down. Then all bets are off. @BradMossEsq @Krhawkins5
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @declanm Also, given Jeff Flake precedent doubt Gardener would get on Intel w/o making promises to back party line @BradMossEsq @Krhawkins5
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @declanm Ah, but there is an NSA oversight story to Burr too! https://t.co/A6OPvywPQq @BradMossEsq @Krhawkins5
33mreplyretweetfavorite
September 2009
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930