Seattle, Starbucks expects to spend more than $200 million this year for health care for its 80,000 U.S. employees, more than the total amount it spends on the raw materials or green coffee it buys from Africa, Indonesia, and other countries, according to a report in the Thursday edition of The Seattle Times. Starbucks has been widely heralded for its policy of providing health-care coverage to employees who work at least 20 hours a week.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made the comments in a meeting with Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Adam Smith in Washington, D.C. He and other executives, including Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, were in the nation’s capital to attend a health-care summit. Schultz said his company has faced double-digit increases in insurance costs each of the past four years.
“It’s completely nonsustainable,” he said, in remarks quoted in the newspaper.
Schultz and the other executives are looking to bring attention to what they believe is a growing crisis threatening U.S. businesses. The Starbucks chief executive did not endorse any specific legislation, but he reaffirmed his belief that every American should have access to health insurance.