October 13, 2005

NYC Passes Health Act to Keep Wal-Mart Out of City

From the New York Post:

October 12, 2005 -- The City Council voted yesterday to override Mayor Bloomberg's veto of an anti-Wal-Mart bill aimed at making the retail giant and large grocery stores provide health-care benefits to their workers.

The Health Care Security Act, which the council has admitted is an attempt to keep big-box stores like Wal-Mart from setting up shop in the Big Apple, was opposed by the Bloomberg administration.

Kip Esquire, who has written several items about this Act, says,

...the Act codifies three simple principles of legislative intent:

--It is better to be unemployed than employed.

--It is better to pay higher prices than lower prices.

--It is better to have less variety than more variety.

K. Brancato adds: The New York Sun is reporting that the bill would actually put smaller grocers out of business. Uh-oh:

An official at a trade group that represents local grocery chains including C-Town and Met Foods, the National Supermarket Association, told The New York Sun that its member businesses, many of which have retail spaces between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet, would be devastated by the law.

As passed, the law would require grocery stores that are at least 10,000 square feet or have 35 or more employees to contribute a "prevailing health care expenditure rate."

"The amount of money that this will cost will put 40% to 50% of our people out of business," the executive director of the trade group, Luis Salcedo, said during a telephone interview.

These markets appear to be unintentional victims of the law.

Of course, the law will eventually be overturned anyway:
A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, Robert Lawson, said that with or without changes, the so-called Health Care Security Act violates federal law. The mayor has said that while he wants to get more people health insurance coverage, the council does not have the authority to regulate the plans that private businesses offer.

Posted by TheEclecticEconoclast on October, 13 2005 at 05:59 AM