Maryland — Maryland legislators voted Thursday to enact a first-in-the-nation requirement that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spend more on employee health care. The measure, touted as a money-saver for the state-supported Medicaid program, takes effect despite the governor's veto of the bill.
Labor unions have said they are seeking similar legislation this year in at least 30 other states. Supporters of the measure say the retailing giant unfairly takes advantage of taxpayer-funded health care plans because some workers are paid too little for them to afford Wal-Mart's health insurance.
The bill requires companies with more than 10,000 Maryland employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on employee health care or pay the difference into the state's Medicaid fund. Of the state's large employers, only Wal-Mart spends less than 8 percent on health care.