Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Evil Walmart Offers Free Health Screening at Sam's

Walmart Press Release -- "On Saturday, January 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sam’s Club offers the communities they serve a simple solution for health maintenance by screening for several key vital health metrics. The January health screenings, valued at up to $100, include total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI) screening. Knowing where your health stands at the start of the New Year helps to set realistic goals for 2012.

Free health screening events at Sam’s Club help Members take charge of their health. In honor of American Heart Month in February, the next free in-Club health screenings at Sam’s Club will focus on heart health. Sam’s Club licensed professional pharmacists, serving members and the public, are always available to support their communities with preventative health and wellness solutions, quick personal assistance and low prices on the medications patients need."

MP: Walmart gets criticized for a litany of evils including low wages, low prices, no health care for part-time employees, discrimination, etc., but they never seem to get credit for all of the benefits they provide communities around the country, including offering free health screenings at Sam's. When's the last time Target offered free health services?  Probably never.  

40 Comments:

At 1/04/2012 6:32 PM, OpenID thefarmerslife said...

I just visited a brand new Walmart in a town I used to work in. When I worked there we received dozens of job applications a week. Just so happens the place I used to work for moved into the old Walmart location. The new Walmart was built in an undeveloped part of town. The first thing I noticed when pulling in the parking lot was that a strip mall had been built next door. The parking lot in front of each store was full. Good job Walmart.

 
At 1/04/2012 7:16 PM, Blogger hal said...

This is a good start, but we still got a medical school shortage. Medical schools/colleges should act like businesses, and expand enrollment to meet demand.

 
At 1/04/2012 7:36 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Medical schools/colleges should act like businesses, and expand enrollment to meet demand.

Ah, there may well be a consumer demand for more doctors, but what if there is not a correlative demand on the part of students to become doctors?

 
At 1/04/2012 8:51 PM, Blogger Dahveed said...

MP, the good Walmart is doing is driving people into the store where they'll hopefully buy some stuff. This is called marketing and it exists only to drive business. If Walmart was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Walmart employees kids going to the ER as charity cases.

Do not fall into the behavior that one marketing campaign undoes all the damage that Walmart has done to the US economy.

 
At 1/04/2012 9:42 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

have not seen this at our local WalMarts.

Are you sure that perhaps it's only Sam's Clubs?

well..it's a start but I'm sure most businesses including WalMart would not do this unless it had a business value to them in later purchases of OTC and prescription drugs, etc.

I do not think Walmart is 'evil' BTW. I think they are very, very good at what they do and that is admirable in any business.

Of course folks might say the Mob or drug runners are very good at what they do also, eh?

;-)

 
At 1/05/2012 6:36 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Of course folks might say the Mob or drug runners are very good at what they do also, eh?"...

Well then larry g if you don't want to aid and abet crime don't go...

Locally in the St. Louis, Mo area now that Sams has started that service a few of the Walgreens are trying it out too...

 
At 1/05/2012 7:06 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Craig: "Ah, there may well be a consumer demand for more doctors, but what if there is not a correlative demand on the part of students to become doctors?"

Then the costs of doctor services will go up and some students will likely chenge to being doctors instead of something else.

Either way, there will continue to be a scarcity of doctors (the same as there is a scarcity of every economic good). Only in a market system, the scarcity will not be perverted by politicians and bureaucrats, as in the present system.

 
At 1/05/2012 8:56 AM, Blogger FactsAreFriendly said...

Walmart is often criticized but the fact remains that in pursuing its own goals it has significantly improved the financial well being of millions of Americans.

It is the perfect modern day Adam Smith example of how prosperity grows - that in the pursuit of self-interest, businesses compete with, and consumers seek, lower prices, higher quality and better services. None are, during those transactions, behaving in an altruistic manner but the net effect is greater efficiency, lower prices and better goods and services. Both the sellers and the buyers are pursuing their own perceived best interests and that is a good thing overall.

I would remind the Walmart critics that it didn't, as is so often charged, destroy the economies of rural towns by opening stores nearby. In fact, the local community members simply walked away from the small merchants when given the freedom to do so. The locals showed they preferred Walmart over the local small grocers and hardware stores with their small selection and higher prices.

It is too bad that the small store owners got hurt in this massive shift of increased consumer freedom, but the migration to big box stores was and is a good thing for the vast majority of the locals in a community.

And now, by offering medical screenings, Walmart is being criticized for not being pure of motive - that it is doing it to improve its image and to "drive" business its way.

I've got news for those critics. I worked in consumer products companies for many years and none have the power to "drive" business its way. In large part, shoppers in America still have the freedom to seek better options for themselves and no amount of charitable work is going to change that.

Sure Walmart wants to burnish its image. Who wouldn't after the hysterical campaign that has been mounted against it for years. And who benefits from Walmart trying to burnish its image? You guessed it - consumers and employees who get free medical screenings. You can bet they aren't upset that Walmart's motives may not be completely altruistic.

The free market system works if it is allowed to work.

So I say, "You go, Walmart!" and don't let the critics get you down.

 
At 1/05/2012 12:12 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

If Walmart was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Walmart employees kids going to the ER as charity cases.

You mean, "If GM was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Target employees kids going to the ER as charity cases."

Or, "If the local government was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Sears employees kids going to the ER as charity cases."

Or, "If Target was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Target employees kids going to the ER as charity cases."

When are you idiots going to look at reality? Walmart is doing far more good for individuals than any arrogant progressive. It uses its own money and facilities to improve the lives of its employees and customers. What else do you want?

 
At 1/05/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Then the costs of doctor services will go up and some students will likely chenge to being doctors instead of something else."

only if prices are free to move, and they are not. they are increasingly set by the federal government through medicare and medicaid and through a byzantine and increasingly expensive morass of negotiated insurance payments.

you are also leaving out huge hikes in malpractice insurance etc.

doctors, especially GP's are not making much money and have no ability to raise prices unless they want to go to cash pay.

in a free market, you'd be right geo, but given the way medicine is working, i think craig has a point.

put together the cost of schooling, forgone income during that period, and the huge difficulty of residency etc, and i can certainly see why so few find being a doctor attractive.

you're going to be 35 or 40 before you even pay off the debt, much less start making up the opportunity cost of all the time spent in school.

 
At 1/05/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"but I'm sure most businesses including WalMart would not do this unless it had a business value to them in later purchases of OTC and prescription drugs, etc."

given that almost every major corporation makes charitable donations, i think that's a pretty aggressive claim to make. lots of corporations, companies, and individuals give charitably/do pro bono work/help communities for philanthropic, not profit motives.

 
At 1/05/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If Walmart was really interested in helping the community, then it would provide free health insurance to all its employees so the community wouldn't have to pay for those Walmart employees kids going to the ER as charity cases"...

Why don't you dahveed give the Walmart employees health insurance and pay for it yourself?

No one is forcing anyone to work at Walmart BTW...

 
At 1/05/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger cactusKP said...

I was with you until you picked on Target. Calling the health services "free" is like saying advertising is giving money to the public. There's always a return on the investment.

 
At 1/05/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" i think that's a pretty aggressive claim to make. lots of corporations, companies, and individuals give charitably/do pro bono work/help communities for philanthropic, not profit motives. "

even if they can't write it off on their taxes??

;-)

Hypothetical question:

WalMart provides "free" community health checks and pays for it by raising the cost of prescriptions.

is that like a "tax"?

 
At 1/05/2012 9:09 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Free health screening events at Sam’s Club help Members take charge of their health

While neglecting to say that one is required to have a membership to do business with that store.

It is a PR move, and nothing more.



Walmart is often criticized but the pro-Walmart opinion remains that in pursuing its own goals it has significantly improved the financial well being of millions of Americans.

Such claimed benefits reduce quality, income, and increase dependence on shoddy products - while suppliers end up signing Faustian deals that end up overwhelming the supplier.


I've got news for those critics. I worked in consumer products companies for many years and none have the power to "drive" business its way.

Then you must have worked with a lot of small clients, the kind that cannot grind suppliers to death and flood a ton of shoddy goods made by a currency-manipulating Third World hellhole.



No one is forcing anyone to work at Walmart BTW...

One's own circumstances are that force. It would be disingenuous to claim otherwise. The only way out of that force would be if Walmart was smote by legislation that corrects their committed wrongs.

 
At 1/05/2012 9:13 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" While neglecting to say that one is required to have a membership to do business with that store"

you mean they're not opening it up to non-members?

hey...what kind of scam is THAT?

evil it is.....

 
At 1/05/2012 9:28 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


juandos said...

So you're in favor of PPACA if it is used by Walmart to avoid having to provide a plan that is actually meant to be used - as opposed to the current plan that is only meant to collect dust or be used as a PR tool?





FactsAreFriendly said...

You sound too close to a shill to guide people to the "correct" opinion. Not that you'd admit it if that was the case, however.



Larry G said...
I think they are very, very good at what they do

...which is proving that Walmart's actions are what make them evil, not anything else.




VangelV said...
What else do you want?

• The permanent end of their anti-US, Benedict Arnold practices.

• A more Northern, and thus US-side, approach to their business practices.

• A less adversarial attitude towards their employees.

• An admittance of fault and apology for their political interference with communities that said no. From the PR they send out, all the way up to the top.

 
At 1/05/2012 10:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Hypothetical question:

WalMart provides "free" community health checks and pays for it by raising the cost of prescriptions.

is that like a "tax"?


No. You have the choice of going elsewhere and buying prescriptions from a WalMart competitor. Walmart cannot use force to get anyone to comply with its wishes. In the case of a tax, it is enforced at the point of the gun. Unlike WalMart, a government can force people to comply with its wishes.

 
At 1/05/2012 10:54 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

While neglecting to say that one is required to have a membership to do business with that store.

It is a PR move, and nothing more.


No, it is called competition. Sam's has a very good competitor in Costco and uses this as a way of attracting customers who would otherwise shop there.

Such claimed benefits reduce quality, income, and increase dependence on shoddy products - while suppliers end up signing Faustian deals that end up overwhelming the supplier.

To WalMart, what matters are the customers, not its suppliers. Those customers are in charge and if they don't like something they are free to bring it back. There is nothing 'shoddy' about that.

One's own circumstances are that force.

That is not force. If you are desperate for a job and are offered one accepting it is still a voluntary action. Nobody can force anyone to work for WalMart if s/he has better alternatives elsewhere.

It would be disingenuous to claim otherwise.

No, it isn't. What is force is not debatable in this context. WalMart offers jobs and products. Those that take those jobs or shop there do so voluntarily.

The only way out of that force would be if Walmart was smote by legislation that corrects their committed wrongs.

But there were no wrongs. WalMart has been driving the standard of living higher by reducing prices for all kinds of goods and services that used to be overpriced. It employs close to two million people worldwide. It has squeezed the costs from the retail distribution system and done all that it can to ensure that the consumer is always number one.

 
At 1/05/2012 11:01 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

• The permanent end of their anti-US, Benedict Arnold practices.

There is nothing anti-American about lowering prices so that customers get a better deal. That is what the free market is about.

• A more Northern, and thus US-side, approach to their business practices.

This makes no sense. WallMart is one of the great American companies. It is as American as apple pie and ice cream.

• A less adversarial attitude towards their employees.

I do not see an adversarial attitude. The company does not force anyone to work for it. It keeps costs low by hiring many people who want or will settle for part time work because that keeps its cost structure lower and allows it to have lower prices that attract more customers.

• An admittance of fault and apology for their political interference with communities that said no. From the PR they send out, all the way up to the top.

I think that the communities need to apologise to the consumers for forcing them to pay higher prices to companies that have higher margins and higher cost structures.

 
At 1/06/2012 6:57 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

new hypothetical question.

If WalMart "pays" for community health clinics by increasing drug prices and their drug prices are still lower than their competitors, is THAT a "secret" tax?

 
At 1/06/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"While neglecting to say that one is required to have a membership to do business with that store.

It is a PR move, and nothing more."

oh, you mean like having a sale or adding a new benefit to a gym membership at no cost?

yup, that's some pretty reprehensible behavior that hurts everyone. we should sure get upset about that.

seriously, do you listen to yourself?

they are giving free health screening to members and you are painting it like it's somehow evil.

what's next, the insidious "get free chips with a sandwich" conspiracy?

 
At 1/06/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

interesting article on doctors:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/05/smallbusiness/doctors_broke/index.htm?hpt=hp_t3&hpt=hp_c1

 
At 1/06/2012 10:13 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " they are giving free health screening to members and you are painting it like it's somehow evil."

well no - but here's how Mr. Perry characterized it:

" but they never seem to get credit for all of the benefits they provide communities around the country,"

the reality is that they are not really offering " free health screenings" to the community - least of all those who cannot afford a membership.

If Sams had actually offered free health screenings to the community regardless of membership..then yes.. they would have deserved much credit.

Perhaps this explains why only Sams and not WalMart offered the "free" screenings, eh?

My only quibble here is in the way that Mr. Perry characterized it - as something for the "community" whereas it really was restricted to only those in the community who belonged to Sam's Club - a much narrower "philanthropic" endeavor...

why can't you psudo-libertarians just tell the truth, instead of always trying to color it?

must be genetic, eh?

 
At 1/06/2012 1:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"So you're in favor of PPACA if it is used by Walmart to avoid having to provide a plan that is actually meant to be used - as opposed to the current plan that is only meant to collect dust or be used as a PR tool?"...

Sure sethstorm, its not like anyone is being forced to shop or work at a Walmart...

 
At 1/06/2012 1:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If WalMart "pays" for community health clinics by increasing drug prices and their drug prices are still lower than their competitors, is THAT a "secret" tax?"...

NOPE...

Walmart won't send federal law enforcement personnel to collect those 'taxes' if one doesn't shop there, right?

 
At 1/06/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"One's own circumstances are that force. It would be disingenuous to claim otherwise"...

BS sethstorm...

One's own circumstance lays squarely on one's own shoulders...

 
At 1/06/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: secret tax

well the govt won't send troops to collect your gas tax or sales tax either...

but if Walmart adds to the cost of a product to then turn around and spend on other people ..... isn't that "like" a tax?

in other words, they're tacking on costs so they can use the money to buy stuff for other people....

and the great thing about it is that you get the customers to pay for it but then they get to write it off as a charitable donation also, right?

sneaky. sneaky.

 
At 1/06/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"but if Walmart adds to the cost of a product to then turn around and spend on other people ..... isn't that "like" a tax?"

If you understood economics, you wouldn't write stuff like that.

Based on your disapproval of Walmart's sneaky health screening innitiative, your best course of action would probably be to avoid Walmart and Sam's Club completely, so as to deny them the satisfaction of involving you in such a scheme.

 
At 1/06/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


This makes no sense. WallMart is one of the great American companies. It is as American as apple pie and ice cream.

They're about as American as Benedict Arnold. They were once as American as apple pie, but Sam took that to his grave.


I do not see an adversarial attitude. The company does not force anyone to work for it.

But those people that work for them have no alternatives, and thus are forced.

When you say "settle" further on down, you imply that the person takes it out of a condition similar to duress. That is a non-voluntary condition, implying that no better option exists.

Settling for a bad deal is indicative of a less-than-voluntary decision.


It keeps costs low by hiring many people who want or will settle for part time work because that keeps its cost structure lower and allows it to have lower prices that attract more customers.

If they were stripped of their influence, Walmart couldn't get away with what it does.

That, and such prices promote even worse-off circumstances where tons of junk are created to crowd out higher quality options - making us poorer.



I think that the communities need to apologise to the consumers for forcing them to pay higher prices to companies that have higher margins and higher cost structures.

Not going to happen. That, and you wish to use the wonderful construct of consumers to divide people against themselves.

That and you wish to divide people between the consumers and the people that you consider not-consumers. You still don't answer my point about their PR representatives doing everything to separate, disenfranchise and otherwise marginalize those responsible for anything unfavorable. What part of no means no does anyone in Bentonville not understand?

 
At 1/06/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Hey... I LIKE how they do business!

but you gotta admit.. that it's not WalMart offering health screenings to all comers but instead Sam's Club offering it ONLY to members.

but if WalMart were to offer it to any/all in the community it WOULD have to be paid for - right?

how would they do it?

Would they likely do it by building in the cost to some of their products?

if they did.. what is wrong with that?

is that okay to charge everyone a little bit more so they can provide "free" health care to others?

I would submit that I DO UNDERSTAND this... and I'm asking some provocative questions about WalMart asking all customers to help pay for a free service to others.. or not really "ask" them but simply add on a little bit to their bills to pay for it.

is it okay to do business that way if you are the market leader and your productivity allows lower prices enough for you to do that?

 
At 1/06/2012 4:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I would submit that I DO UNDERSTAND this and I'm asking some provocative questions..."

LOL Is THAT what you call them?

"...about WalMart asking all customers to help pay for a free service to others.. or not really "ask" them but simply add on a little bit to their bills to pay for it."

Well, they are asking them, because if customers don't like the higher prices, they can shop somewhere else.

 
At 1/06/2012 4:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"is that okay to charge everyone a little bit more so they can provide "free" health care to others?"

You will have to deal with the difference between *voluntary* and *forced* before you can get to a discussion of universal health care.

 
At 1/06/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" because if customers don't like the higher prices, they can shop somewhere else"

if they knew, right?

what if the prices are low, competitive...but because Walmart can sell for less but instead keeps the price low enough but stick tacks on a little extra to pay for their "free" clinics?

is that okay?

now stop evading the question, guys...

is it okay for WalMart to charge more and use the extra to buy free services for other customers?

yes or no... answer please.

 
At 1/07/2012 5:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"if they knew, right?"

If they knew what? You aren't making sense.

"what if the prices are low, competitive...but because Walmart can sell for less but instead keeps the price low enough but stick tacks on a little extra to pay for their "free" clinics?"

Are you asking if people would be upset if they knew that Walmart covered all its expenses from revenue?

If Walmart has the lowest prices in town, people are likely to shop there. Why would anyone care how Walmart spent the money they make on sales? They are a private business, and can do whatever they want.

They can provide free medical screening, pay their top executives bonuses, throw picnics for employees, pay PR firms to polish their image, pay dividends to stockholders, or burn currency in the parking lot. It's not anyone else's business.

Any money spent by Walmart must come from sales, as even you must know.

Are you suggesting that people might feel cheated if they suspected they could have lower prices instead of free medical screening?

Another way to provide lower prices would be to cut employee salaries and benefits. Do you think there are people upset because Walmart hasn't done that?

If you have an actual point to make, you should just make it if you can.

 
At 1/07/2012 5:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"if they knew, right?"

If they knew what? You aren't making sense."

if people actually knew that Walmart had increased drug prices to pay for "free" health care screens.

"what if the prices are low, competitive...but because Walmart can sell for less but instead keeps the price low enough but stick tacks on a little extra to pay for their "free" clinics?"

Are you asking if people would be upset if they knew that Walmart covered all its expenses from revenue?"

yes.

"If Walmart has the lowest prices in town, people are likely to shop there. Why would anyone care how Walmart spent the money they make on sales? They are a private business, and can do whatever they want."

and so it's okay to charge you more and to use that money to pay for free health screenings for others?

"They can provide free medical screening, pay their top executives bonuses, throw picnics for employees, pay PR firms to polish their image, pay dividends to stockholders, or burn currency in the parking lot. It's not anyone else's business.

Any money spent by Walmart must come from sales, as even you must know."

I know this is a shock, but YUP.

"Are you suggesting that people might feel cheated if they suspected they could have lower prices instead of free medical screening?"

yes

"Another way to provide lower prices would be to cut employee salaries and benefits. Do you think there are people upset because Walmart hasn't done that?

If you have an actual point to make, you should just make it if you can."

my point was - from your point of view - is it okay for WalMart (or others) to charge you more for a product so that they can then use that money to subsidize others needs?

Is it okay for WalMart to do that?

and bonus question - if WalMart does that..is it a legitimate tax write-off for a charitable donation that is essentially done by you?

 
At 1/08/2012 4:32 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"my point was - from your point of view - is it okay for WalMart (or others) to charge you more for a product so that they can then use that money to subsidize others needs?"

That's a really odd question, which I've already answered. Read my previous comment again. Once again, it is OK for Walmart or any other private business to charge any amount they wish for products, and to do whatever they wish with the proceeds. They need not account to you, or anyone else for their spending decisions.

That includes providing free health screenings as I've already explained.

If you, or anyone else doesn't like what Walmart spends money on, then don't shop at Walmart. It's just that simple.

"and bonus question - if WalMart does that..is it a legitimate tax write-off for a charitable donation that is essentially done by you?"

Walmart isn't a charity, and providing free health screenings isn't a charitable activity. So no, there is no write-off for a charitable donation, and it certainly isn't a charitable donation from you.

Does your employer make a charitable donation when you give some of your earnings to charity?

Does a tire store charge higher prices for tires to offset the "free" brake inspections they offer? Is it OK that they do that?

How about your dentist offering a low priced initial checkup for new patients? Are you paying higher prices for dental work because of the discount? Is it OK if they do that?

 
At 1/08/2012 6:55 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I think it is fine also and appreciate your answer.

 
At 1/14/2012 4:44 PM, Blogger Alan said...

you left sams in garland texas for the free health screening supposed to close at 3 they said they wouldn't take anybody else in this was around 245 and then they said they didn't have any more form so they could not take anybody else

 
At 1/14/2012 4:45 PM, Blogger Alan said...

you left sams in garland texas for the free health screening supposed to close at 3 they said they wouldn't take anybody else in this was around 245 and then they said they didn't have any more form so they could not take anybody else

 

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