Wal-Mart scored a victory — for now. A federal judge struck down a Maryland law that required any non-government employer with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of their payroll on healthcare.

Maryland put the law into place to fly directly in the face of Wal-Mart, since it’s about the only company in Maryland that employs more than 10,000 people that wasn’t already meeting that somewhat arbitrary standard.

Since I’m against most federal regulation (I’d be all for forcing Wal-Mart to provide benefits provided we were forced to work there), I’m glad to see this. However, the effort to twist the arm of Wal-Mart won’t end, and soon Wal-Mart will, on their own, begin to increase their health benefits.

There is a bit of history behind this prediction, and I’ll get to that in a second.

Ask any member of Congress who is pro massive government regulation why they strive for control of corporate entities, and you’ll often get some variation of the default Hillary response: “For the children.”

“For the children” is “the common good” prettied up in U.S. politico drag, and if there’s one thing history teaches us – other than don’t hitch a ride with a Kennedy – it’s that the “common good” is almost always decided by the uncommonly bad.

Politicians say things are “for the children” because “for the labor unions,” “for money,” or “for political power” just sounds way too, well, honest. In keeping with tradition, the government – led by Ted Kennedy – would like nothing more than to find a way to completely regulate Wal-Mart, the retail giant that has become the corporate Legion of Doom to the government’s Stupor-Friends.

In February of this year, Wal-Mart was ordered by the Massachusetts pharmacy board to begin selling “Plan B,” known as the “morning-after pill,” after three women filed a complaint against the company. “Plan B” prevents ovulation and fertilization, provided it is taken within three days of the post-coital cigarette.

Just for the record, the pill got the name “Plan B” because “Plan A,” which is “let’s just kiss,” usually goes horribly awry.

A mere couple of weeks after being ordered to sell “Plan B” in their Massachusetts pharmacies, Wal-Mart announced that they would begin stocking the drug in all of their 4,000 pharmacies in the United States.

Ron Chumiuk, vice president of Pharmacy for Wal-Mart, said in a statement, “We expected more states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in the months ahead.”

If the judge’s ruling concerning the Maryland health care law is overturned or another state is successful with a similar effort, the liklihood that we’ll see a repeat performance of Wal-Mart’s “Plan B” national cave-in is high.
Among those who consistently chastise Wal-Mart for “not providing affordable health care” is one of the reasons health care costs so much: Ted Kennedy. Last year, Sen. Kennedy even wrote something called “The Ten Commandments for Wal-Mart.”

Kennedy has spent an inordinate amount of his life violating any number of the actual Ten Commandments, and all of a sudden he stumbles down from the mountaintop carrying a stone tablet like some kind of gin-blossomed Wal-Mart Moses? Go figure.

We need constant reminders of where the “we’re from the government and we’re here to make your life better” or “the union could fix this” mentality can lead workers, besides the unemployment line. Last summer, in Henderson, Nev., a labor union hired some temporary workers to picket outside a Wal-Mart. The picketers were hired to walk outside the store and protest the low wages, lack of benefits, and lousy working conditions Wal-Mart provides to its employees.

Oh, one more thing. The union who hired the picketers paid them less than the starting wage Wal-Mart pays, gave them no benefits, and made them picket in 104-degree heat – all to protest the low wages, zero benefits, and lousy working conditions inside the air conditioned store.

That bit of rent-a-mob humor aside, I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Wal-Mart will soon be ordered, by some judge somewhere, to pay health benefits to all employees, and a higher court will uphold it. Why? “For the children,” of course.

Have you ever noticed that those who are the loudest about Wal-Mart not providing access to health care to all their employees (Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton, the latter, ironically enough, once served on the Wal-Mart board) are the ones who think that the government should the one providing health care to us all? Maybe they think that Wal-Mart could do it better. And they’d be right.

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