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In its home state of Arkansas, Wal-Mart leads all the state’s companies in the number of workers and their children forced to rely on the state Medicaid program for low-income, uninsured children and adults and other public assistance programs. A report by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette showed 3,971 employees of Wal-Mart, the state’s largest employer, receive public assistance. By contrast, the state’s seventh largest employer, Triad Hospitals Inc., has just three employees on public rolls. Recent studies in Georgia, Tennessee, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Connecticut also show a disproportionate number of Wal-Mart workers and their children on public health programs. Fewer than half of Wal-Mart’s workers are covered by the company’s health plan because of long waiting periods for eligibility and high costs.


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