Floridians Pay Steep Price For Wal-Mart

Gov. Jeb Bush has been looking for ways to “rein in” Medicaid spending in Florida, which he claims is “devouring” the state budget. The Governor has mentioned funding cuts and partial privatization as potential options. One thing he hasn’t explored: kicking Wal-mart off the dole.

The St. Petersburg Times reports Wal-Mart, “which is getting millions of dollars in state incentives to create jobs in Florida, has more employees and family members enrolled in Medicaid than any company in the state.” The paper reports the state has paid Wal-Mart more than $51 million in incentives since 1981. By way of gratitude, the superstore is letting Florida taxpayers foot the bill for the 12,300 workers and dependents it pays so poorly that they qualify for Medicaid, the state’s health care program for the poor.

Not that Gov. Bush would ever want to force “one of our nation’s great companies” (in Vice President Cheney’s words) to pay its fair share.