The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Walmart to Close Its Health Care Clinics

Jun 3, 2024

Walmart announced it is closing all 51 of its health care clinics across five states, and canceling plans for clinics in two others, as well as ending its virtual care platform. The clinics provided primary and urgent care, labs, X-rays, behavioral health care and dental work, mostly to low-income patients in rural and underserved areas.

In part, Walmart blames a shortage of health care workers and primary care physicians. But however admirable its stated goal of providing care to low-income patients in underserved areas might be, it obviously intended to make a profit from it. This proved to be too much, given the costs of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and what for-profit health insurers are willing to pay.

Walmart is not the only retailer making cuts to a healthcare division. Walgreens and Amazon have also announced cuts.

It’s sad that patients should have to depend on generosity from retailers to get needed medical care in the first place. Yet even that is too much to expect from this country’s medical system that is based on profit.