Should Wal-Mart Offer Better Health Insurance?

Some are calling it the Wal-Mart bill.

The Maryland General Assembly is poised to make its state the first in the nation to require that large corporations -- like Wal-Mart -- provide more health care to their employees.

Votes are expected within hours to override a gubernatorial veto of a measure that mandates that companies with more than 10,000 employees spend 8 percent of their payroll on health care costs. In Maryland only one company fits that description: Wal-Mart. Some business interests see this move as nothing more than a backdoor effort by Democrats and union leaders to bring about a national health care system.

For some Wal-Mart workers, though, the bill's passage could help them get out of a troubling situation.

Cynthia Murry, a five-year Wal-Mart employee told ABC News, "I have no health coverage, at all."

Murray believes she may be risking her job by speaking out and claims many of her fellow employees agree with her position that Wal-Mart should provide more health care benefits.

A coalition of union and health care organizations have pushed for the Fair Share Health Care Act. They claim that businesses and taxpayers have to subsidize the health care costs of uninsured workers through higher premiums and higher Medicaid costs.

"If an uninsured person who works at, say, Wal-Mart goes to the hospital, can't pay their bill, as many times they can't, everybody else's premiums go up to cover that hospitalization," said Vincent DeMarco of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative.

Wal-Mart says its Maryland employees can get coverage for as little as $23 a month. The company claims three-fourths of Wal-Mart workers nationwide do have coverage. But the company admits many of those workers have coverage "through a spouse's plan or Medicare."

Thirty other states are said to be contemplating similar legislation. The National Federation of Independent Businesses says this is nothing but an effort to mandate health care coverage, ultimately leading to government control of the system.