Walmart Health Care? Very Affordable Prices Will Cause “Consumer Revolution”

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Walmart is a very North American entity, but its reputation is known worldwide. They sell everything, and now they are offering people something essential.cLast fall, Walmart declared its mission to become what they described as “America’s Neighborhood Health Destination,” by launching its very first Walmart Health Center in Dallas, Georgia.

The new location became something of a real medical center, offering services such as primary care, X-rays, EKG scans, labs, dental services, optical testing, hearing tests, and even counseling and community health education services.

Photo credit: Supermarketnews

You may be thinking, “What? Go to Walmart for health care?”

But all of the services offered are dirt cheap, especially by the standards imposed by the whole convoluted healthcare monopoly aftermath we have in the US.

For instance, people are able to receive a basic medical checkup for just $30. Many avoid getting their teeth cleaned, to prevent basic tooth decay because the dentist is expensive. However soon people will be able to get their teeth cleaned for $25 at Walmart.

As strange as it sounds, they are charging 1$ a minute for mental health consultations.

Keep in mind none of these services require insurance. This isn’t a co-pay – this is the cost of the service. If this becomes widespread, it would deliver a striking blow to the insurance monopolies.

Former Apple CEO wants to create a “consumer revolution.”

Headlines were made recently, after former CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993, John Sculley made a statement, declaring that we are going to experience a “consumer revolution” in the realm of retail, for “point of care.”

He currently serves as the chairman of RxAdvance, a pharmacy benefit management company.

“Why?” Sculley asked CNBC. “Because if the Walmart tests are successful, and I suspect they will be, people will be able to go in and get these kinds of health services at a lower cost than if they had health insurance.”

Photo credit: Appleinsider

He continued to explain that by the simple nature of the statistics, the approximately 30 million Americans without health insurance are more likely to go to Walmart for routine medical services than a standard doctor.

“That’s going to be a drastic change,” he emphasized.

The thing is, Walmart won’t be alone in its ability to become an all-in-one retailer turned budget doctor’s office.

In a bid to fill this economic position, retailers such as Walgreens, BestBuy, and CVS are getting active. “CVS is probably the furthest along of anyone,” Sculley noted.

He pointed out that CVS currently has more than 1,300 “Minute Clinics.” They are owners of one of the largest “PBMs,” or pharmacy benefit managers, and are even in possession of their own health insurance company.

Apparently this is a truly significant “economic gap” waiting to be filled by whoever has the money and resources to invest.

So who would naturally invest in this?

Big technology companies, of course: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, even HP are all looking into the possibility of getting into this field of budget healthcare, according to the ex-Apple CEO.

They are all coming upon the realization that this constitutes the “largest remaining industry that has not been revolutionized by modern technologies that have transformed every other big industry in the United States,” he asserted.

In the interview, he explained that he believes corporate lobbying is among the reasons why the nature of healthcare has not changed much in recent times. 9He most likely plugged and pushed a few of his own interests to be fair, but a substantial amount of information was present in what he said.)

It’s a well-known fact that around $900 million annually is openly spent on political lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry. On the very surface level, this is visible. Just imagine how the power dynamics function behind closed doors.

Sculley continued to emphasize that lobbying was responsible for the atrocious medical situation in the US, perhaps over-emphasizing it rather than acknowledging how deep it could get, but that’s only natural being a person invested in it.

He said that the healthcare industry has not adapted to new technology as fast as certain other fields.

What does this mean for healthcare?

When it comes to survival, true prosperity, and taking an objective look at each medical problem we are personally faced with, each decision made is an individual case. People who really know how to survive can reason though why they should or shouldn’t receive a certain treatment, and what that treatment is.

While Walmart and Big Tech certainly are concentrated power, solutions are certainly needed in the healthcare industry.

The assertion of each individual’s willpower, to choose for themselves what care they prefer, is the only real check and balance that can better the situation if you think about it.

One thing this might mean is that if these services can technically be lowered to such a price, perhaps it doesn’t require as much effort or money to actually be a doctor or professional in the field of medicine. That’s not to discount the laborious efforts of people who genuinely tried to do good and went through medical school.

Perhaps it will become cheaper or easier to become a medical professional, but if power becomes concentrated, maybe people will be restricted by their employers in regard to what is considered medicine or treatment, and what isn’t.

Does the fact that technically this can be cheap, mean that doctors and professionals are now required to lower their standards and be paid less? Were they paid too much in the first place, or do cheap prices for healthcare and high wages for medical professionals have the potential to co-exist?

Lots of things are changing. The orthodoxy of going through the entire medical school process might even change.

Of course, one massively important reason why the cost of medical care in the US has skyrocketed is this insurance monopoly situation. Maybe with them cut out of the equation, esteemed medical professionals can be paid high wages and people can receive affordably-priced healthcare at the same time.

About Cassius

Cassius K is a writer from North Highlands, California.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

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  • Well that certainly is good news, cost wise anyway. The walk-in health care I use usually costs me around $100 per visit and they don’t take insurance. Most of the private practice clinics/doctors in my area have been bought up by the two major hospitals. But that is not on the same scale as Walmart. I just checked and there are no CVS Minute Clinics in my state, although there are lots of CVS drug stores.

    • @Log Man,
      I know it may not seem like it, but $100 is a deal!
      Our monthly premium, co-pay, we are paying way more than that, and that is for just blood work, and a doctor visit.
      Our deductible has gotten to the point we cannot afford to use our insurance.
      If they went to a cash only option that was less than what we pay now, I would be for it.

      • I think probably the only good thing about getting old is Medicare. I wouldn’t be able to afford my meds without it. I made a schedule of all our meds, what we had on hand and cash prices. Cash price on one of my meds is $1,500 for 30 days and my insulin is $2,400. I had no idea! I was only able to buy 30 days of 3 meds. I’ve only got a couple of months of those and pray the drug store will be open and have some when I run out.

  • Really good idea,recently I had to get a eye exam for eyeglasses and my Kaiser insurance had a $400.00 fee since my plan didn’t cover Optical.This plan is brilliant….

    Welcome Cassius!


  • Quite an interesting concept. Not entirely brand new, tho the prices are much more reasonable. Quite a few physicians have ‘dropped out’ of the ‘insurance business’ and gone to a ‘concierge’ type practice. Instead of insurance, you pay a flat monthly/yearly fee to the practice, and have almost ‘unlimited ‘ access to your physician via phone/text/email/online video as well as shorter wait times, etc. The physician has the benefit of a lowered case load, allowing them more time to actually spend with their patients.. Lower costs for patient and physician without the ‘middleman’ insurance companies. I don’t personally know anyone taking part in this type of practice, but it seems like a win-win, and a step in the right direction.

    And BTW, welcome Cassius!

    • We had a doctor with a concierge practice when we lived in California. It was the best health care I have ever had in the United States.

  • It’s become very difficult to find a private practice as all have gone under major hospital corporations umbrellas it seems around here.
    I’m all for affordable health care. I guess we will see how this goes and if any issues arise.

    • As a person with complicated multiple health conditions (“medically fragile”), I see doctors in one of those hospital corporations. For me that makes things much easier as all my doctors (and the ER!) have access to my chart – simplifying and streamlining my care on those times I do need the ER. I’m lucky enough that all my doctors work as a team, reviewing what the others have done/said before making their own tweaks, and oftentimes one will cover for another (Gastro doc helped me get an appointment sooner that Primary wanted, and Heart doc ordered a blood test that Rheumy wanted but forgot.). Yes I need “regular” insurance, but they’re even beginning to work with me & my Doc team to keep me as healthy as I can be. Now… if they’d only cover a YMCA membership…. lol

  • What we desperately need, in order to make health care affordable, is a law which requires any provider of health care goods or services to charge every single provider to charge every single victim – oops, patient – the exact same price for the same goods or services, and to make public these standard fees public and widely available as a cross check to reduce duplicity.
    But since the insurors control the industry and achieve outrageous profits from their venal and deceptive behavior, that’s not going to happen. I found myself paying 50% more for my insurance deductible when purchasing a med than if I just paid cash for it. Took me years to find this out. The goal of insurors is to steal as much as they can get away with. That’s just reality. Honesty is for naive, childish folks, and theft and deception are the norms of that horrid marketplace.
    I’ve been thinking of trying to get a referendum going on just this issue. Timing is now good, I’d guess.

  • While one might not need insurance for the low cost services, they would still have to pay for insurance so that they can get RX’s without paying an exorbitant amount. So then if you have to pay for insurance anyway, you might as well go to a regular place that your insurance will pay for otherwise you are paying for insurance just for RX’s or hospital stays.

  • So, will this division be a separate entity or does one simply purchase WMT stock in order to support and gain from this great plan.

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