Yes, it's a race to the bottom and yes, there's nothing admirable at all about Wal-Mart's behavior. However, the more effective strategy for getting universal coverage is not resisting the tide, but embracing it. Let's not spend any more energy trying to shore up a system of employment-based coverage that was flawed from the beginning and makes even less sense in today's economy.
Let, even encourage, employers to drop the pretense and drop coverage. And then, let's use tax revenues to pay for it. It will be far more flexible and fair for individual families, level the playing field for companies that compete internationally, and create fewer economic distortions.