John Mackey’s Advice

August 27, 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

The air is saturated with loud noise about health care reform. That’s all we hear.

Are we going to have a public option?

How can we pay for universal Health care?

The whole issue has become very confusing.

Well, an opinion piece written by John Mackey does more to simplify the issue and give us direction than anything I have seen. The amazing thing is that John Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market is the poster child for the organic food lovers. But the liberal organic food lovers don’t like John Mackey’s philosophy on health care.

Here is what he recommends –

  1. We need high deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts. Whole Foods buys for their employees a high deductible health insurance plan. The employee pays for his own doctor visits out of a health savings account supplemented by Whole Foods. This way, for everyday health needs and doctor visits, the individual is paying. That discourages overuse of health care. The high deductible insurance is there for catastrophic needs.
  2. Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefit. It’s not the same now.
  3. Repeal all state laws that prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. If I want to buy my health insurance out of Kentucky, I should have the right. Insurance from Kentucky might just be less expensive.
  4. Repeal the government mandates of what health insurance should cover. The government wants to dictate everything.
  5. Enact tort reform. Lawsuits are driving the cost of health care through the roof.
  6. Make costs transparent. We need to know what a doctor visit costs. The ten dollar co-pay is not the real cost.

Mr. Mackey goes on to say that the constitution does not guarantee health care as an intrinsic right any more than food or shelter. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. He reminds us that many of our health care problems are self-inflicted. Two thirds of Americans are overweight. Some people choose to smoke. Some drink too much. There are many self-destructive lifestyles.

Mr. Mackey’s liberal organic food lovers can’t believe that he doesn’t support a government-run health care system. The fact is we can’t afford it. Remember what Margaret Thatcher said – “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.