October 5th, 2009 – In a recent Op/Ed piece Whole Foods Founder and CEO, John Mackey, took a position for personal responsibility and against government run health care. Mackey’s position is common with conservatives, but it was a bit surprising to hear this from the CEO of Whole Foods.
Mr. Mackey feels that with a soaring deficit and costly Wall Street bail outs that the country is in no financial position to create a massive new health care entitlement and that the public plan option would lead us closer to a government takeover of the health services sector.
Mackey’s solution is an expansion of what he does for his employees at Whole Foods. His employees are covered by low premium high deductible health insurance plans with incentives for employees that lose weight or quit smoking. Whole Foods puts several hundred dollars into each employees Health Savings Account that they can use for their out of pocket expenses for things like medical, dental and vision care.
John Mackey scoffs at the idea that people don’t care about their own health and that people are too foolish to take care of themselves and need to be told what to do. In his Op/Ed piece, Mackey offers 8 health care reform ideas to lower costs of health care and improve on “ObamaCare” without adding to the deficit.
In an excerpt from the piece Mr. Mackey said:
“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.
Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.”
Mackey’s comments make a lot of sense and are supported by scientific evidence and common sense. The question is if the general public is willing to ignore all the enticing commercials for unhealthy foods and take charge of their own health by simply making healthier food choices.
If one really was serious about getting healthy and adhering to Mackey’s suggestions, a vegan diet actually saves the average family about $1200 per year and it also dramatically reduces health care costs while improving quality of life.
This may seem like a radical idea, but is it crazy to suggest something that would actually make people healthier or is it crazy to do nothing and accept things as they are? While the old saying goes that common sense isn’t that common, it seems that the CEO of Whole Foods has common sense in abundance.