There's been a lot of comments from Christians and non-Christians alike this last week or so and that's great. However, for today's post I actually expect us all to agree... for once.
Debbie Shank is a former employee of Wal-Mart. About eight years ago she was involved in a terrible traffic accident that left her brain damaged. Because of the accident she was left in a wheelchair, lost most of her short-term memory, and now must live in a nursing home.
At the time of the accident she was covered under Wal-Mart's health care plan. For her health care Wal-Mart paid out approximately $470,000.
Jump to two years later, Shank was awarded one million dollars from the trucking company that was involved in the crash. After taxes and other expenses she ended up with about $417,000. This money was set aside to ensure that Shank would be able to receive long term care.
A few years later Debbie's son, Jeremy, was sent to Iraq to serve in the military. Two weeks later he was killed in battle. Because of her condition she cannot remember that her son is dead. Even though she attended his funeral, she continues to ask how her son is doing. Every time she must be re-told that he is dead, and she reacts same way she did the first time she was told.
The bullshit started when Wal-Mart found out that she was awarded money from the lawsuit with the trucking company. Wal-Mart decided that because she received $417,000 from the lawsuit with the trucking company, that she needed to pay Wal-Mart back for much of the health care they payed for her; the money she received from the insurance. According to the fine print to Wal-Mart's health insurance plan, if you receive money from a lawsuit, you must pay back whatever amount the insurance paid for health care.
Wal-Mart sued the brain-damaged woman for the $417,000 and won. They appealed to the ruling to the supreme court, but lost.
When Wal-Mart was asked why they pursued the money from a brain-damaged woman considering circumstances, the official word was this, "Wal-Mart's plan is bound by very specific rules. ... We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank's case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and benefit from, the plan."
So who do you think really needs and deserves this money? A poor brain damaged woman who's husband works two jobs to pay medical bills. Or a retail giant that made $90 Billion alone in it's 2007 third quarter?
This is pure bullshit. Source
March 25, 2008
Posted by Phoenix Roepke at 10:30 PM