Conservatives as a whole like to think of themselves as the little guy, the victim of the grasping horde who’s earned every dollar he’s (sic) made, and will defend it from those violent, thieving statists. Of course, that’s the self-perception — much as a husband, beating his wife, may see himself as “protecting” her from her own bad behavior. In a very real sense, conservatives epitomize America’s culture of rape and violence…even when it’s merely metaphorical.
Take for instance the ideas of a higher minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act. By conservative logic, these are America’s fancy new skinny jeans or jewelry, the pretty new things that we do for ourselves to make us better. But in the conservative mind, pretty new things scream “Whore!” and “You deserve to get raped!” Indeed, every time the American people do something for themselves, conservatives do their best to rape the nation of all it’s gained, beat it back into submission, and justify it by saying, “It’s just business.”
And no matter how many times we leave them, or threaten to leave, they come up with some excuse to get us back. There’s always some “But look, baby…remember how GOOD we had it?” Maybe that’s how we arrive at things like this bit of BS, a meme that’s been making the rounds on conservative sites like Tea Party Conservatives of America:
This one comes from an article published by conservative tabloid The Washington Examiner, which is like FOX “News” for people who can’t afford cable. Now, we’ve got a pretty long tradition here at AATTP of debunking these “statistical” conservative memes, and we’ve learned one thing above all others: They’re all literally true, as long as they’re taken out of any kind of context. They all follow the same basic formula: “2 + 2 = 4,” so “22 + 22 = 4.” So, let’s put this one into context, and balance the equation.
Walmart’s Medical Coverage vs the ACA
The ACA Can Cover: Almost everybody, in states where Medicaid has been expanded.
Walmart Can Cover: Fewer than half, and more dropping by the day.
A Few years ago, Walmart cut off insurance coverage for all employees working less than 24 hours a week. After the ACA passed, they dropped all insurance coverage for those working fewer than 30 hours a week. And that was just one end of Walmart’s double-sided raping, because simultaneously, they dropped the number of full time employees significantly so that even more wound up working 29.5 hours a week. At present, at least 55% of Walmart’s regular employees are part time, and don’t qualify for any kind of health coverage.
And Walmart may have found a way to get away with dropping even more, while working them as many hours as they please. Recently, Walmart instituted a policy that employees were not eligible for health coverage until they’d worked there for at least 6 months. Which is bad, but not damning. This is, though:
Back in 2003, only about 1 to 3 percent of Walmart’s workers were temporary or seasonal workers employed either through an outside agency or on contract to the store. Now, at least 10 percent of the work force is temporary, and 27 out of 52 stores polled by the Huffington Post in June of 2013 said they were hiring ONLY temps. Why does that matter?
Because temps sign on for 180 days at a time, at which point their contracts expire. For our conservative audience: 180 days equals 6 months — the exact period of time Walmart forces employees to wait for health coverage.
Report on that, Glenn.
Math Hard, Half-Truths Easy
By now, we all know that the government either subsidizes most of the cost of ACA insurance for the poor, or those same people should be covered by the Medicaid expansion. And who might be considered “the poor” in America these days? How about the average Walmart employee supporting the family of four in the graphic?
The graphic above states that the insurance rates for our cashier parent will run $317 a month after the subsidy…but tellingly, fails to mention how much that cashier makes. Which, by national average for full-time Walmart employees, is about $17,500 a year. Even those ever-objective folk at the Examiner somehow glossed of this crucial point. They did, however, have a quote from also-objective independent insurance agent David Todd, out of Walmart’s Bentonville, Arkansas home base:
“If I buy a family plan on the exchange, it’s still $1,000 a month. And I can buy this for … [$160] on Walmart.”
Todd fails to mention whether Bentonville insurance agents make more than $17,500 a year. Somehow, we suspect that they do. So, what does a working parent making $18,000 a year as a full-time Walmart employee pay on the health insurance exchange?
Nothing. Squat. At 74 percent of the Federal poverty level, this parent would be covered entirely under the Medicaid expansion. So, the question now becomes: How can any full-time Walmart employee pay more on the Federal exchange than the $160 a month this graphic says they’d pay Walmart? In order to pay more than Walmart’s insurance cost, that person would have to make…wait for it…
$40,000 a year.
Indeed, if a single provider somehow made $40,000 a year at Walmart, or if that lucky Walmart employee’s spouse also had a job making about $22,500 a year, they would end up paying $164 a month for the Silver plan, after the $610 a month government subsidy.