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In a surprising move that has “‘flabbergasted” other leaders of the retail industry, Wal-Mart has sent a letter to the White House supporting President Obama’s health care policy to force all but the smallest employers to cover their employees with health insurance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In what may be a clever move by Wal-Mart, the mega retailer teamed with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the letter delivered to Obama’s desk yesterday to  “help shape the debate” on health care, according the WSJ.

Although Wal-Mart says it is in favor of “a broad based employer mandate” requiring all large and medium companies to provide health insurance for their employees, The National Retail Federation, which is the retail industry’s primary lobby, is opposed to Wal-Mart’s move.

Warning that forcing companies to insure all employees “would quite possibly cut off the economic recovery we all desperately need,” the retail lobby’s V-P said that a mandate like this would be “the single most destructive thing you could do to the health care system shy of single-payer system,” which is entirely government-run, quoted in the WSJ.

More opposition is coming from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce which fears that low wages would become even lower under such a plan.

Wal-Mart Backs Drive to Make Companies Pay for Health Coverage – WSJ.com.