Yesterday I noted that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon cited pharmacy reimbursements as one of the reasons his company's earnings per share numbers fell short. What was McMillon talking about? The Washington Post's Carolyn Johnson in How health care reform adds to Wal-Mart’s pharmacy woes explains:
A footnote in Wal-Mart's second quarter earnings release this week highlighted one of the many effects of more people gaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act: its pharmacies are no longer as profitable. The retail giant blamed weak quarterly earnings that underperformed expectations partly on challenges facing its U.S. pharmacy business. "Let’s talk about pharmacy," Greg Foran, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S., said during the call. The company is seeing lower reimbursement rates from drug insurance plans and a decline in high-margin cash transactions, he said, "reflecting a marketplace shift in which more customers are now benefiting from greater drug insurance coverage." Wal-Mart reported in the call that its health and wellness business was growing, including an increase in prescriptions filled, but that the profit margins are lower than expected.
Poor Walmart, unable to take advantage of people previously unable to afford health insurance and forced to pay cash for their medications, the company must now accept what pittance the insurance companies deem to pay. Yet another reason for the capitalists to hate the Kenyan Muslim in the White House. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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