WASHINGTON -- Wake-Up Wal-Mart launched a new legislative and grassroots initiative today to make sure that large companies, like Wal-Mart, provide affordable health care for their workers. The "Make Wal-Mart Care About Health Care" campaign will highlight the high cost American taxpayers pay because Wal-Mart fails to provide their workers with affordable health care. The coordinated grassroots effort, which unites Democracy for America (DFA), the group founded by Governor Howard Dean, and supporters of Wake-Up Wal-Mart, will also include an unprecedented grassroots effort to lobby state leaders to propose "Fair Share Health Care" legislation in all 50 states.
"High deductibles and expensive premiums -- that's the reality of Wal-Mart health care. Wal-Mart's failure to provide company health care to more than 500,000 of its employees proves Wal-Mart cares more about its profits than its people," said, Paul Blank, campaign director for the Wake-Up Wal-Mart campaign.
The "Make Wal-Mart Care About Health Care" campaign will officially launch with a series of press conferences in 8 states and 325 Meet-Ups in over 270 cities, involving over 10,000 supporters of DFA and Wake-Up Wal-Mart. Press conferences with civic, community, and labor leaders will be held in Concord, N.H.; Seattle, Wash.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Madison, Wis.; Little Rock, Ark.; Austin, Texas; Hartford, Conn.; and Atlanta, Ga.
Speakers at the press conferences will call on their state legislative leaders to pass "fair share health care" legislation. In order to highlight the real cost from Wal-Mart's failure to provide affordable health care for its workers, a bill for the actual amount state taxpayers subsidize the health care of Wal- Mart workers will be presented. The "Wal-Mart Health Care Tax" is a 3-foot-by-6-foot replica of an actual "Wal-Mart bill" and reflects the estimated dollar cost state taxpayers pay for providing health care for Wal-Mart's workers. A letter will also be mailed to Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, asking Wal-Mart to reimburse state taxpayers for the tens of millions of dollars used to subsidize Wal-Mart's health care.
Tonight's Meet-Ups will focus on the "Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis," and the political and legislative tactics that supporters will use to lobby and pressure their state's Governor and political leaders to adopt "fair share" health care legislation. As part of this grassroots effort, supporters will be asked to be "Citizen Sponsors" or "Citizen Co-Sponsors" of "fair share health care" legislation in their state. The "Make Wal-Mart Care About Health Care" campaign will also launch a new section on its website to educate the public about the Wal-Mart's heath care crisis and allow the tens of thousands of supporters to host a "Fair Share House Party" on June 23rd.