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CARSON CITY, Nev. - The Nevada Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill mandating that large grocery stores offer adequate health insurance for their employees, or pay back any health services the state provides.
AB356 states that it is unfair for large grocery stores to decline offering insurance to make more money and "shift the burden of paying for such health care to charitable institutions and programs of health that are supported by the contributions of taxpayers."
The measure passed 30-12.
The bill requires large grocery stores to prove they offer insurance to their employees, or else indemnify the state for any costs the state might incur. The stores could simply promise to make up for any health care costs out of their profits.
Discussion of the bill during a committee hearing focused on Wal-Mart. The bill's proponents said more than 60 percent of Wal-Mart employees are without health insurance.
A Wal-Mart representative rejected their assessment, claiming the store's employees often say the benefits package is one of the reasons they want to work for the superstore.
Seven Republicans voted with all 23 Democrats in passing the bill, which now moves to the Senate for its consideration.