Walmart and Gov. Mike Beebe have an announcement coming today on the state’s effort to move Medicaid and other insurance to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement for health care. The idea is to address “episodes” of care, reward good outcomes and generally promote a continuum of sound health practices that should reduce costs by producing better general care over time.

It is an occasion to say again that single-payer universal health insurance is the most rational approach to health care for a wealthy, developed nation. If our single payment be a pass-through to Walmart, well, why not? The school model is heading that direction under encouragement from Walton billions. They do know how to supply desired goods cheap.

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David Ramsey explained the state’s Payment Improvent Plan in detail in our Big Ideas issue earlier. Check it out here if you missed it.

UPDATE: Walmart, which self-insures its employees, will contribute $670,000 to underwrite the effort in Arkansas and participate in other ways in development of the state plan. The news release doesn’t say so specifically, but the announcement indicates general favor on the part of the giant retailer in moving toward a system like that the state favors. Walmart’s use of a similar system isn’t a direct benefit to state costs in Medicaid, for example, but it’s a powerful addition, along with Blue Cross and Qualchoice, to pressure building to get all elements of the health system to buy into the idea.

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Walmart’s news release follows: