Washington Millions of Americans who work full time still depend on federal health care and food assistance programs because of low wages, according to a bipartisan congressional watchdog.
A report by the Government Accountability Office found that about 70% of adult workers participating in Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income Americans, and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as Food Stamps, work full time.
The report was requested by Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who said his findings showed an urgent need to increase the federal minimum wage.
In an age when huge companies like Walmart and McDonalds make billions in profits and give their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year, they rely on the welfare of federal government companies by paying starvation wages of their workers. “Sanders said in a statement.” It’s morally obscene.
He said it was high time to increase the federal minimum wage from $ 7.25 an hour to $ 15.
In the report released Wednesday, GAO analyzed data from 15 state agencies spanning 11 states, with each agency reporting employers in their states with the highest number of Medicaid and food stamp recipients.
Of the 15 agencies overseeing Medicaid and food stamp programs, Walmart was among the top four employers with beneficiaries in each of the 15 programs. McDonalds was among the top five employers whose workers received federal benefits from 13 of the 15 state agencies.
Other companies that popped up frequently were Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
Sanders said an analysis of GAO data showed that in nine of the states examined, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, the largest number of food stamp recipients were employed at Walmart and McDonalds.
Asked about the GAO comment, Anne Hatfield, a spokesperson for Walmart, said: “Without the access to jobs offered by Walmart and other companies, many more people would depend on government assistance.
She said a small percentage of Walmart’s workforce is state-assisted when hired by Walmart. The company works to remove barriers to employment and create opportunities for people that too many people overlook, she said.
McDonalds USA said in a statement: The average starting wage in restaurants owned by American companies is over $ 10 an hour and exceeds the federal minimum wage.
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