A recent piece in the Houston Chronicle and echoed in the reporter’s weblog criticises Wal-Mart for trying to control their employee costs. Reading the internal Wal-Mart communication gives a somewhat different message. I know it is fashionable to criticise Wal-Mart just now, but this article (and many like it) miss the real issue.

The real issue is the unchecked rising cost of health insurance.

Profit-making commercial entities (like Wal-Mart) are amoral entities - not moral, not immoral - simply as they are organized to stay in business and make a profit. The company that does the best job in this game stays in business, and companies that do a lesser job - as with many of Wal-Mart’s competitors - lose business.

Every company in the United States that offers health insurance to their employees, is faced with a problem, and this chart from [Trends & Indicators in the Changing Health Care Marketplace](http://www.kff.org/insurance/7031/print-sec1.cfm) tells the story.</param></param></param></param></param></param></param></param></param></param> </embed> We - collectively - have a problem. The cost of healthcare is increasing at a completely unjustified rate. Over the past several decades an ever-larger portion of our total income (as a nation) has gone to healthcare. > [NCHC | Facts About Healthcare - Health Insurance > Cost](http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml) > Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with > inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, > poor management, inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems > significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance > for employers and workers. >

With better technology the quality of healthcare should have gone up, and the cost should have gone down. Since that did not happen, something is wrong.