Maryland passed a new law
The bill, which passed despite a veto by Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., requires employers with more than 10,000 workers to spend at least 8% of their payroll on employee health care or else pay into a fund for the uninsured.Why 10,000? Because that makes WalMart have to do it.
"This opens the way for dozens of states across the country to follow suit, and that's clearly a chilling message to Wal-Mart," says Tracy Sefl, a spokeswoman at Wal-Mart Watch, a Washington-based group focused on the megaretailer.10,000 may set that bar pretty high (Wal-Mart is the only company that will be affected.), but now that the law is passed, lowering the threshold to hit more companies will be that much easier. Plus, the more we make huge companies spend on health care the more likely it will be that they will be supportive of a national health care plan that would relieve their burden. In the meantime, more people get health insurance.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney praised the Maryland action. "What the Maryland victory shows is that the tide is turning, because working people are not just fed up, they are ready to get active to set our country in a different direction, one state at a time," he said in a statement after the vote.