Well, maybe not to every neighborhood. Right now it’s only 12 across the nation wiht 6 already open in South Carolina and Texas.
According to an article in Forbes magazine, these new clinics aren’t the 100 clinics Walmart has operated for several years in conjunction with local hospitals. Instead, Walmart will fully own the new clinics, operate them 7/365, and have longer hours than competing entities. Better yet--the cost: A walk-in appointment will cost $40.
The Post and Courier reports that Walmart expects 1.2k of its employees to benefit from the two clinics opened in Sumter and Florence, South Carolina. Bernadette Simmons—a Walmart assistant manager who doesn't have the company's health insurance—visited the Sumter clinic and paid $36 for a visit, which included lab work. The visit alone, Simmons said, would have cost $86 at a similar clinic in the area. For Walmart employees who use the company’s health plan, they will pay $4 to see a doctor in the clinic.
What’s important about this story is why the clinics came into being.
With Obamacare expanding the number of people on Medicare/Medicaid, costs to the states are rising exponentially, forcing the states to come up with a way to contain costs and/or raise taxes. So, a little more than one year ago, the Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, secretly traveled with two high profile healthcare advisors to Walmart’s world headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where they had a closed-door meeting with Wal-Mart executives. The Governor’s goal was to convince Walmart to launch a new primary care strategy in South Carolina that would address cost containment. Walmart executives put the primary care clinics on the table.
It’s this kind of free market creativity that Republican governors, like Nikki Haley, are incubating in their states and, as President of the United States, could expand nationally to do what Obamacare promises but cannot possibly deliver.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the Forbes magazine article, click on the following link:
“Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor?”
To read the Post and Courier article, click on the following link:
“Wal-Mart launches new primary care clinics in South Carolina.”