In the Wall Street Journal, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods has a lovely article entitled Whole Foods Alternative of ObamaCare. I hope you go read it for yourself, but a few morsels that really get me riled are below.
He's quite full of himself about the fabulous health insurance plan he offers his employees.
For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees' Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.
OK, let's assume you're working at Whole Foods, making $10 an hour (a quick intertube search shows this a fair estimate) and working the minimum 30 hours per week. This means you're only grossing $15,000 per year. Even after you add the $1,800 WF sets aside for you, you're still only up to $16,800. How far does that even go for subsistence level living, let alone paying for health care to meet the $2,500 deductible before the insurance kicks in?
He blathers on with bullet points about how health care should be reformed. Here's a fun one:
Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.
WTF? "Government mandates?" Insurance companies cover only what they want to cover, when they feel like covering it. WTF? "Consumer preferences?" Consumers would prefer that insurance cover them when they need care, not drop them the minute they get sick or need something more than a band-aid.
Another one of my faves:
Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor's visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?
This false premise that health care is somehow a commodity really burns me. That an individual must comparison shop when they need health care? Health care is a human right, not "goods or service," like a TV or car or a pedicure.
But wait, Mr. Mackey says:
Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This "right" has never existed in America.
I guess that part in the Preamble to the Constitution where it talks about promoting the general welfare, doesn't count. And I'm so glad we don't have any pesky government agencies regulating the food supply or building codes to mess up our "voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges."
And of course, there's the obligatory dig at Canada and the U.K.:
Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.
No, actually, Mr. Mackey, citizens of these countries HAVE decided health care is a right by the act of establishing their national health care systems. The United States has far more rationing of care. Insurance companies ration and deny it to increase their profits. And individuals self ration it because they can't afford it.
I'll have to quit soon, because I've gone way past the fair use standards, but one more for the road:
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.
True as this may be, it matters not how many doughnuts, cigarettes or PBRs one forgoes, if you've got MS, get hit by a bus, get pregnant, or any number of other things that have nothing to do with lifestyle choices, you're SOL in this country.
Whole Foods is a whole lotta crap and I won't shop there. I hope you won't either.