Wal-Mart Putting It To The Common Man Again

Wal-Mart has come up with yet another way to exploit the Poor and Downtrodden — they’re opening health clinics in select Wal-Mart stores, some of which are in Dallas. Driving down costs and making medical care more available to middle and lower income folks — who the heck do they think they are?


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33 responses to “Wal-Mart Putting It To The Common Man Again”

  1. Bethany says:

    They’re The Man. Gosh.

  2. Bob Stoller says:

    Wonder how they are going to outsource the doctors to China? Oh, wait, they won’t have “doctors”–just some “health care practitioners.” Want fries with that flu shot?

  3. Bethany says:

    I believe the idea is based on their already successful optometry model. They basically lease the space to a doctor, and have some say in his price points and such, since he is operating under the Wal-Mart name.

    This isn’t a new methodology for them, really. They’ve been doing it for years with eye doctors.

  4. Peterk says:

    the WalMart superstore near me has one of these and AFAIK it is designed to take of the minor stuff. they take insurance, cash and credit cards.

    “want fries with that flu shot?”

    yup, MickeyD’s is next to the clinic, you can also get your nails done, do some banking and get your eyes checked.

    i really really hate how WalMart tries to scr*w the little guy. I mean really shouldn’t they be forced to drive to MickeyDs then to nail salon etc. Why should they be able to do all of the above under one roof?

  5. Bethany says:

    No kidding. And to make it even worse, if you put money in a walmart gift card, you can save 3 cents a gallon on gas pumps at Wal-Mart, which is already typically a couple cents cheaper than everyone but Racetrack.

    Those little guy screwers.

  6. Bob Stoller says:

    The point is not that you should (or shouldn’t) be able to get fries with your medical care. After all, there is a Mickey D’s at Parkland Hospital. The point is that your health care provider this morning may have been flipping burgers (and not learning about being a doctor) yesterday. Dumbing down our health care providers is not the answer to our broken health care system.

  7. Cindy says:

    A nurse practitioner is a PhD in nursing. What kind of degree do you have, Bob Stoller?

  8. FactChecker says:

    Uh, Cindy, you might not want to go there. A simple Google search reveals the details…

    “Bernard (Bob) Stoller, attorney and arts trustee/advocate, Dallas, TX “

  9. Bethany says:

    I think that’s a gross exaggeration, Mr. Stoller, and I think you probably know it.

    This clinic will still have to be licensed, it will still have to follow state and federal laws, and will still have to be insured. You can’t do all of that if “your health care provider this morning may have been flipping burgers (and not learning about being a doctor) yesterday.”

  10. Cindy says:

    Clearly, having a mere JD doesn’t imbue any understanding of the health care industry.

    It’s pretty insulting to have some useless shyster accuse nurse practitioners of being unskilled burger flippers.

  11. allison says:

    Wal-Mart follows state and federal laws? Really? The same Wal-Mart that encouraged the hiring of illegal immigrant cleaning crews? The same Wal-Mart that also violated overtime, Social Security and workers’ compensation laws in place to protect said crews? Really? That same Wal-Mart?

  12. Bethany says:

    Uh, the clinics are leased – LEASED to doctors. The doctors will indeed have to follow all the laws and regs ever other doctor has to follow, just like the eye doctors already present in Wal-Marts have to.

    Let’s all read the story, and use a little common sense.

  13. Bill M. says:

    Everybody hates Wal-Mart except its customers.

  14. JB says:

    If the Wal-Marts are in a designated “underserved” area for medical doctors as most Wal-Marts are such as the one on I-30 and Buckner, then the only requirement is that it be staffed with P.A.’s or Certified Nurse Practitioners and a doctor is only required to be there say, once a month. Considering that Wal-Mart also sells prescription medication on the premises, this becomes a very scary proposition. It will be far easier for people in lower class areas to acquire medication without supervision. Prescription Drug addiction is the highest form of addiction in the country next to alcoholism and is far less regulated and often overlooked. This whole proposal appears to be a loophole to subvert a proper doctor patient relationship and of course, create a money making machine on the backs of people who are addicted to something. Think Big Tobacco with a “Health care Professional” signing off that its all OK and good for you.

  15. Bob Stoller says:

    Cindy, I have a BBA and a JD from the University of Texas. I did not mention, much less demean, “nurse practitioners.” I referred to “health care practitioners,” which is whatever the proprietor says it is. Wal-Mart is just contributing to a 2-tier system where the have-nots (or the have-not-so-muches) will be locked into a lower quality of health care than the elite. Don’t fall for this second-class solution.

  16. Cindy says:

    I see. Another booster for socialized, government run health care.

    Walter Reed, anyone?

  17. Hell Yeah! says:

    nice one cindy. since you’re feelin’ all hannity on us, why don’t you remind us about the evils of our socialized fire departments, police forces, and military establishment…

  18. Furthermore says:

    Reality Check:

    Being poor (read: the common man) is a) not funny, and b) about having a lack of choices. If my 5 year old daughter gets cancer, I cannot afford on my company’s health care plan, or on my own, to send her to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota…I don’t have that choice.

    But Trey, Cindy, et al, are telling us we should be jumping up and down because we at least now have Wal-Mart as an option. Are you listening to yourselves? Drop the Ayn Rand leaflets for 10 seconds and think about the reality of someone dying and you being in charge of putting together a pledge drive on a street corner to pay for a half dozen chemo treatments. and then think about having to sell your house, and all of your posessions while going broke in the process. This can happen to anyone…you included.

  19. JB says:

    Cindy, as a doctor myself I have seen the aggressive, consultant lead, insurance industry slowly put the screws on the people and companies that CAN afford health insurance. Disregarding the uninsured people in America and for whatever reason they are uninsured, the already insured people are getting screwed also. Premiums have skyrocketed and payments to patients and doctors have been pinched. Big Insura is profiting far more than the oil companies but nobody wants to complain about it for fear of their own premiums rising or as doctors, we don’t want to bite the hand that feeds us. I am no fan of Michael Moore by any means, but he raises a very serious point in his latest movie “Sicko” where people who are insured and not getting covered for services they belived they were covered for because some ignoramus with a 2 year community college education (not even a nurse) sits in a cubicle and deems that a service, surgery, or treatment is not going to be covered. Do I think we need Government run Healthcare, no. But then again, who or what else in this country is strong enough to stand up to these powerful and rich healthcare companies and at least demand reforms to modern healthcare. You?

  20. Peterk says:

    How is WalMart dumbing down healthcare? How is Walmart locking folks into a lower quality of healthcare? It looks to me like they are in fact expanding access to healthcare especially the healthcare that is hard to get that is cold, sniffles, cuts etc.

    and with regard to the vast majority of Americans who are “insured” technically they are not insured since their employers are self-insured. they hire the Aetnas, Blue Crosses et al to administer the money given into their care.

    If you don’t like it here why not take a look at how healthcare is being rationed in the UK and Canada?

  21. JB says:

    Actually, now that I think about it. When Wal-Mart starts billing billions of dollars to Aetna, Blue Cross et al and those same companies then decide its lowereing their bottm line and stop “administering money” to Wal-mart, I suspect some high paid Wal-Mart JD’s will get involved and they can take on the problem. Ahh, The Marketplace…really the one great answer for your health. This may get interesting. (As long as you don’t get ill.)

  22. Bethany says:

    I do not understand why this is any different from any other doc in the box out there? Is the problem that it will be attached to a Wal-Mart building?

    If it were attached to a Target building, would this post have no comments?

  23. Matt says:

    Ummmm, Peterk…UK and Canada’s healthcare system ranks higher than ours in both infant mortality rate and life expectancy. In fact, we’re ranked at 19th in the former (just below Belgium). For Cancer mortality rates, we’re tied with Canada, and for Heart Disease mortality rates, we’re well below Canda, and pretty much tied with the UK.

    In other words, drop that tired and cliched analogy of the horrible UK and Canadian heatlhcare systems. Nobody buys it anymore, though I’m sure you’re picturing Russian era bread lines. They still have private options there if you want to avoid the public route (just like our school system). Also, call a friend from Canada if you’d like and ask them to trade heatlhcare systems…then wait as they laugh at you. Or, pick up the movie Sicko to see another analysis of both of those countries. Better yet, have a baby here, then have one in Canada. I don’t know about you, but after anesthesiologist, OBGYN, and hospital bills, and minus what insurance covered, we still owed over $3000. I guarantee you our neighbors to the north aren’t paying that much extra a year in taxes. not even close.

    Oh yeah, and after my insurance company found out I had a son with a pre-existing allergy induced asthma condition, we got dropped. It was awesome! It was even more awesome when we got to rush to the emergency room and shelled out thousands in breathing treatments, and medicines. And now, we’re SOOOOO lucky because Blue Cross decided to give us a pathetic excuse for insurance coverage on him, and we now get to pay $300 a month for just him alone. But thank God George W…we OWN that insurance policy!!! Wanna guess what Canadian’s are paying extra in taxes for their healthcare system?….wanna hint? It’s less than I am in “mandatory unless you want to be bankrupt” insurance.

  24. houston says:

    MAYBE Wal-mart will get into legal help and have a budget legal office. . . ummh, wonder what the atty will say then??? If you are not wealthy you do not have it and if you are wealthy they suck your blood. yes for cheaper health care. maybe they less fortunate go to Wal-mart and pay instead of going to Parkland .

  25. dave from oc says:

    UK’s health care is worse than is known. They’re rationing is so bad that they refuse treatments to drinkers, smokers, the overweight and the old. Brits are going to Poland for dental care. The waiting list for an MRI is measured in six to 10 month increments.

    Health care isn’t a right. It’s something you have to pay for. More government isn’t the solution to a problem caused by government. 65 percent of health care dollars spent in the US are government dollars. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

  26. Bob Stoller says:

    Hey, Houston, I will say that if Wal-Mart sells you good legal advice and representation from lawyers who spent three years training and learning to represent folks like you, more power to them. If they hand you off to a “practitioner” who doesn’t have adequate training to represent you properly, you are in a heap of trouble. And where do people go when they are in a heap of trouble? Why, they go to their own personal lawyer, the one who doesn’t have rich clients and the one who doesn’t suck blood. That would be me, and thousands of other solo attorneys just like me.

  27. dave from oc says:

    It’s kinda revealing that people who crave socialized medicine really resent when private companies come up with solutions to the high cost of health care.

    Its like they know any progress made by companies sets back their little government takeover schemes.

  28. dave from oc says:

    If some people insist on some kind of socialized medicine plan run by the government, why not have a program (call it AmericaMed or some such) where those who want to be in it pay an extra tax and they can have their AmericaMed plan. Those who don’t want to be involved don’t pay the tax. And doctors who don’t want to take it can refuse, as they can with Medicare or any private insurance plan?

    Everyone has a choice an nobody has to pay into a state-run system if they don’t use it.

  29. Mike says:

    1. These places will be staffed with NPs or physician assistants who have years of schooling and will have to stick very closely to an algorithm that’s meant for oolds, flu, chicken pox, bronchitis, etc. It will be cookbook medicine at best. If their symptoms don’t fit into the clinic’s treatment algorithm, the patient gets referred to the ER or a specific doc.

    2. Dave From OC and whoever else – it’s great that you get anecdote-based health care punditry from whatever wacky media sources make you horny. Somebody’s uncle had to wait forever in Canada for an orthopedic surgeon, point to you sir! We spend far more money than any other country yet have worse health outcomes and many uninsured. That Americans do provide medical and pharmaceutical innovation that the rest of the world gets for free is partly true. And our dispersed population adds to our challenges. But our system’s broke, and I’m a little tired of those who think the American way is always better than the rest of the world’s.

  30. MushMouth says:

    You say Cindy, I say Trey…

    …she’s my sister, my daughter, my sister, my daughter…

    This “Trey” character is comedy gold I tell ya!!!

  31. Matt says:

    Hey Dave,

    In the UK, you can still go to a private dentist if you want to. You are not strong armed into using the government system.

    Just like in the good ol’ US of A, you don’t have to send your children to the state run schools.

    The whole “they’re all goin’ to Poland for teeth repair” is hearsay and ridiculous. Do you actually have any friends from Britain. I highly doubt it.

    As far as the, “if you wanna use it, then YOU pay for it” option, we already have socialized healthcare for the elderly called Medicare. In fact, I venture to guess that your grandparents or great grandparents, use it regularly, and if they are over 85 and live in a nursing home, they definitely take part in it. But since you’re feeling so “authentically american” and want everyone to manage all of their families own healthcare, and take the burden off the government, why don’t you start pickin’ up their tab. Something tells me you could probably only afford about two months.

  32. allison says:

    But the real question is whether or not there will be a separate entrance. I don’t want to enter/exit the store through a cloud of germs only to get sick and have to come see the “practitioner” myself. Not that I shop at Wal-Mart or anything.

  33. Rene' says:

    Why does everyone bash Walmart for doing what others are already doing???? CVS and Carnival already have these types of clinics. For those of us that actually work in the medical field, I’m more than happy to see some place that people might actually be able to afford. Do you realize HOW MANY people do not have insurance, or their deductibles are so high that they still can not afford to go to the doctor. These are human beings with diabetes, heart disease and cancer not to mention just being sick or having other diseases. I work in a family practice office with 2 doctors and 1 physicians assitant, our deductible is $3,000.00!! Not very many of us, being single parents can afford to take care of our health as we should! We do not even have the option of insuring our families, if we did, it would run over $1,000.00 a month!
    I handle all the prescriptions. It breaks my heart knowing that so many of our patients can not afford to take the meds every day. (I’ll use a diabetic as an example.) They may take it every other day, or only a few days a week, trying to make it last longer. But, in the end their glucose is rising sky high, and they may wind up loosing a foot, leg, eye sight or kidney, because they couldn’t afford to come to the doctor for blood tests, and couldn’t afford their meds. So….until the time the American health care system is MUCH IMPROVED or someone develops a better way of life/healthcare….thank God for the places where a diabetic can go get treated for a cut on his foot that won’t cost him his rent money for the month and a prescription he can afford to buy. An office visit here averages $120.00, then they are suppose to be able and pay for 2-5 or more meds a month. It doesn’t happen! The majority can NOT afford it.
    Also, Nurse practioners and Physcians Assistants work UNDER a Medical Doctor, they are not thrown into a clinic mindlessly! They HAVE to be able and contact their supervisiong physician by phone if he/she is not there personally. They are highly trained and know if & when they need to seek additonal councel from their supervisor.
    Instead of bashing those trying to make an impact on our lives, pray for our leaders!! May God give them the wisdom we All need!