Walmart isn’t satisfied cutting your hair, handling your bank account and providing you with food, clothing and eye glasses, now the company wants to become the nation’s largest provider of health care.
In a letter of inquiry passed along to various health insurance providers Walmart revealed that they intend to:
“Dramatically … lower the cost of healthcare … by becoming the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation.”
The company hopes to compete with the likes of Walgreens and CVS, both which offer their own in-store clinics. However opponents of the program, namely doctors, suggest that seeing a consistent physician who understands your medical history is a better approach for care.
In the meantime Walmart is hoping to turn their clinics into one-stop shops for everything from depression and flu shots to HIV support and diabetes.
Some critics also point out that expanding on the 140 in-store clinics Walmart already operates doesn’t necessarily mean lower price, however as one analyst points out:
“If you get someone in the door, you can also sell them milk and a shotgun.”
In the meantime the company’s announcement for “more affordable health care” comes during the same week in which they drastically raised health care premiums for their employees while removing coverage for part-time employees who were already struggling to get by.
I can see the benefit of such a program for quick flu shots or vaccinations but I don’t think I’ll be trusting a Walmart doctor with any major issues I might run into in the future. Would you be willing to use a Walmart in-store clinic for your healthcare needs?