Pleasantly Plump Mrs. Sherrod Brown vs. Whole Foods
Isn’t it fun to see the left turn against “organic” food providers?:
John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods Market Inc., with its trendy, upscale grocery stores, argued in an opinion piece last week in The Wall Street Journal that most health care problems are “self-inflicted” by fat Americans who don’t eat right. His essential question: Whoever said everyone deserves health care?
“Many promoters of health care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care — to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals,” he wrote. “While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?”
I read those words and see my father — the factory worker with the chronically sick kid, the guy who could never afford the lean meats and organic produce at Whole Foods. It’s hard to think families like ours would make the cut in John Mackey’s equation of exemptions.
My support for health care reform? It’s personal.
From her words, one might think Mackey is some heartless, cruel person. But his column shows him to be far more compassionate than the columnist/wife of a U.S. Senator who can’t wait until government controls all aspects of health care and you will have to write letters to her husband to spare the lives of loved ones who have been deemed “too expensive.”
What is Mackey arguing for?
* Remove legal obstacles to the creation of health savings accounts
* Make costs transparent.
* Change the tax code so insurance isn’t tied to employers.
*Allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines.
* Repeal government mandates about what insurance companies must cover (Ohio Republicans and Democrats have been especially and equally terrible on this point.)
* Reform Medicare
* tort reform
* make it tax-deductible to donate to people who aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or SCHIP
And Mackey has been campaigning in favor of market-based health care reform for awhile. In 2007, he was part of a fabulous John Stossel health care special on 20/20, where he explained why it is terrible that consumers of health care have no idea what procedures and treatments actually cost (scroll to 6:00):
So what did Mackey really say to Schultz that offended her so much? Two words: personal responsibility…
Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.
Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.
With the HSAs that Whole Foods generously offers its employees, the incentive to stay healthy is a financial one, because you KEEP the money at the end of the year if it is not spent on health care. But it doesn’t mean unhealthy people don’t receive treatment- Which is unlike Schultz’s preferred system, which, much like in England and Canada, is far less forgiving to people who don’t abide by government-approved diets.
Since Schultz has no good argument to make against market based health care reforms, she resorted to the same tactic her husband used at his sham health care town hall last week in Columbus: use real human tragedies as stage props in the never ending campaign for more obtrusive government. Connie, you are pathetic.
And to thank Mackey, even though I swore off the “organic food” craze long ago, I became a new Whole Foods shopper today.