4,666 Comments

Comments

Brigitte Smyth says ...
<p>The vast majority of my Canadian and English friends like their health care systems. My family is French and my husband's Irish;they all like their health care systems.All are government run but people can choose their doctors and their care is not rationed in any way. In fact, their lifespan is way longer than ours and their cost of care way lower. So stop spreading the lies Mr Mackey!Getting sick is not always due to poor lifestyle choices. As a civilized society, we should take pride on how we care for our weakest members. Access to affordable health care should be a right!</p>
09/30/2009 1:44:00 PM CDT
DEJA says ...
<p><strong>Inflammatory/Off Topic</strong> TOO BAD YOU WON'T PUBLISH ALL THE COMMENTS<br> YOU FILTER OUT THOSE WHICH ARE CRITICAL OF YOU</p>
09/30/2009 3:47:00 PM CDT
Suzie Zimmerli says ...
<p>Making an option for healthcare provision is NOT socialized medicine. It is a social right for all. </p> <p> I love your stores sir and totally hope that you never lose your requirement for good quality products. We as a nation must adhere to practices of sustainable rather than attainable products. It is better to have fresh, good products than mass produced or imported semi fresh food.</p>
09/30/2009 8:23:00 PM CDT
Suzie Zimmerli says ...
<p>To Greg Johnson: He has his opinion on Healthcare..that doesn't make his stores bad. They are the best places to shop. Unless you have a good private co-op in your town stick to Whole Foods. You will be healthier for it.</p>
09/30/2009 8:31:00 PM CDT
Debbie Thompson says ...
<p>Thank you Mr Mackey for stating many obvious conclusions.</p> <p>James Steamer, very good analysis. </p> <p>The only groups that will benefit are the Pharmaceutical and Insurance Industries.</p>
09/30/2009 9:59:00 PM CDT
Shahin Mirmooji says ...
<p>Since Mr. MacKey mentioned Canada in his article, I would like to add my opinion here, particularly on the questions of cost and limits to services.<br> I agree with Mr. MacKey that we are not born with the basic human right to receive health-care. However, there has always been and there will always be a health-care system for those who become sick. The question is what kind of system will be chosen? And what criteria will be chosen?<br> For those in need of medical attention, health, and life by extension, can be considered as a commodity, as is the case in the American health-care system. So those with higher purchasing power have access to better care.<br> The Canadian model relies on the fact that life and health are not commodities. Can anyone put a price on the life of his/her child? All, regardless of income level (and especially those without an income) should have equal access to quality health-care.<br> Think about it, most of us would accept an offer of a week vacation all expenses paid for 2 (hopefully somewhere warm as it gets awfully cold here in Canada in winter!). How many would like a chance for a double lung-heart transplant, all expenses paid of course?<br> The Canadian model has limits and restrictions just as the American model. However the reasons for restrictions are different. In the American model the driving force for restricting access to care is to increase profitability. Whereas the restrictions in the Canadian model aim at reducing costs and maximizing resources for more urgent situations.<br> It is not surprising that studies, Canadian and American (see CMAJ or JAMA), have shown time and again that the American government SPENDS MORE TAX MONEY PER CITIZEN on health-care than the Canadian government. And this, for comparable level of care.<br> My fellow Canadians usually blink at me in disbelief when I show them this information. First they don't know about it. Second they cannot comprehend how a privately run system uses more tax money.<br> There will always be restrictions, as there should be. I don't feel like paying for someone's cosmetic surgery (covered by the Canadian Government if medically warranted). And, as it has been pointed out, not every new invention or new wonder drug is an improvement worth the money.<br> Mr MacKey is a businessman, and a good one most likely, but not a caring citizen. Obviously, he cares about his employees (read section on Whole Food's insurance plan). However what would happen if one of them, having had a car accident, despite eating healthy food (!), ends up loosing his job, his income, his insurance plan and his house (to cover the ongoing medical bills)? Maybe, he should apply to IRS for those voluntary tax deductible donations that Mr MacKey proposes. But while waiting for the application to be processed, along with millions of others, he can go to the local church for a free coffee!<br> There is no perfect system. There will always be waste, mismanagement and abuse.<br> Ultimately, an this applies not just to health-care, the question is whether money is to be used to preserve life or life is to be sacrificed for money?</p>
10/01/2009 1:37:00 AM CDT
Norman Matson says ...
<p>We have been shopping at Whole Foods for years. However, we can no longer support an organization headed by someone who is this uncivilized. Fortunately, we and our many acquaintances have found an excellent replacement.</p>
10/02/2009 1:00:00 AM CDT
James says ...
<p>As a person who lives in a country with public health care (Canada), I just want to refute some of the misinformation being spread down South about what a health care system really looks like.</p> <p>For people who think that prevention and treatment are mutually exclusive, think again. Access to health care means regular check-ups with a doctor who will advise you what you're doing wrong and how you can prevent diseases before they happen. Not having enough money to afford check-ups means you put off taking care of yourself until symptoms show up, which ends up costing us all more in financial terms and health terms.</p> <p>For people who think that holistic and alternative health care compete with Western medical care, think again. Access to health care means a doctor can identify a problem, and you can then seek whatever treatment you want to address it. Whether you want to go the Western route or the alternative route, it's up to you.</p> <p>As someone who works in the health field, I know that research studies are showing that treatment also works as a prevention tool. For communicable diseases, access to treatment lowers infectiousness, which prevents other people from getting infected. Early treatment also allows people to solve their health problems while spending less. This benefits us all in the long run.</p>
10/02/2009 10:12:00 AM CDT
P.L. says ...
<p>Dear Mr. Mackey:</p> <p>I live in an Asian city and I don't have any health insurance to cover my medical bills. However, I saved money for the unexpected health problem to happen and I can also buy private insurance plan to cover more expensive items. Most importantly, I have to keep myself as healthy as possible. Therefore, I don't understand why US government have to put up so much money for health care reform. I followed the stories about health care reform in US for sometimes. In my opinion, your article really pinpoints the problems of the current system and provides a sustainable solution. The main problem of the current system is the extremely high growth rate of the cost and it's not sustainable. On the contrary, not everyone is benefited from the growing cost and some people are left out from the system. You have to solve the problem of high cost and universal coverage at the same time which makes the task very very difficult. Your suggestion of high deductible plan is a feasible solution. With such a plan, you can lower the insurance cost and people will cut wastage on using medical resources. Although it requires sacrifices from some people, it allows the government to reallocate more resources to the poor who cannot afford any kind of insurance plan. I support your ideas. I understand you only wants to provide some ideas for the politicians to think about, rather than promoting Whole Food. Your intentions were good. Unfortunately, not everyone agreed and some uses the opportunity to blacken your name.</p> <p>I am interested in the US health care reform because I don't want to see US to go bankrupt with missteps in the reform. US bankruptcy can be catastrophic to all of us. It seems the politicians are more focusing on the political issues rather than solving the core problems (cost control and imbalances) of the system. US citizens are really lucky. They can consume 25% of world resources while they only constitutes 4% of world population. They have to face the fact that resources are limited. Through the debates on Health Care Reform or Climate control, I just feel that most people in US never consider to save resources for our future generations. It's too important not to let US to bankrupt and make sure the country continues to prosper because it affects the living of the remaining 96% of world population on Earth. I participated a charity program recently to help the students in rural areas of China. Most of the students are struggling for about USD150/year to continue their high school education. However, when I saw the news that US would spend trillions of dollars on health care reform, I was really upset. Because trillions of dollars can help all kids in the developing worlds to earn better educations and develop a better life. It's about time for US citizens to change that attitude.</p>
10/03/2009 12:18:00 AM CDT
Ayn Rand's BO says ...
<p><strong>inflammatory </strong>WF-free now for many weeks. Thank you Mackey and Mackey's lackeys, who have have permeated the interwebs with mindless dribble supporting their dear leader. You have served to bring this issue to light for more and more progressives and guess what? We are voting with our feet and dollars. But please feel free to keep calling us libtards, hippie stink, etc. I am sure this will endear all of us to your libertopian cause and to Mr. Mackey's bottom line. </p> <p>Meanwhile, please consider that us blue-staters have many options for our grocery dollars and while it is quaint to think that some of the rabble that has posted here are going to turn into regular customers, I think you know they will not. Twinkies and jerky all the way, baby!</p>
10/03/2009 7:10:00 AM CDT
Michael says ...
<p>John Mackey: You are my hero. And Whole Foods just got a new loyal customer, a family of four.</p> <p>Tim Russert left many legacies ' honesty, loyalty, optimism and how he believed the highest calling of patriotism was evaluating political choices carefully.</p> <p>After his passing, The Oregonian added another: You can't test to health; you must live to health.</p> <p>The DISEASE care system had him on meds that made his numbers ( blood pressure and cholesterol ) look acceptable yet he didn't make it to his sixties.</p> <p>We have a serious health problem in America, in the word for that matter. And the BBC recently called the obesity epidemic a global one. 4 billion people on the planet are overweight or obese and hence have a much higher risk of all kinds of diseases including some cancers. Diet and exercise are the answer. </p> <p>Making the DISEASE care system universal is not the solution to our health care problem, the DISEASE care system is our problem. </p> <p>Diet and exercise are the solution to our problem and individuals must take personal responsibility for their health. The last thing we need right now is the collective to hand out meds so that we test to health rather than live to health.</p> <p>I wish President Obama would give one of his inspirational speeches to fire up America to take personal responsibility for our health. Can we, as individuals, eat right and exercise doing our part to tackle the health problem in America? Yes we can! And we can quit smoking too regardless of the tax levied on tobacco.</p> <p>You just opened a Whole Foods in Santa Barbara where I live. I have always liked Whole Foods but honestly I had no plans to shop there on a regular basis despite its close proximity to my home. Now I do.</p> <p>Thank you for your courage and your help in writing the Op-Ed piece as it really helps Americans in evaluating our political choices carefully. Tim Russert would be proud of you no doubt.</p>
10/03/2009 8:06:00 AM CDT
R Rabbitt says ...
<p>I just finished reading the interview with you published in the weekend WSJ; I have followed this story with your initial Op-Ed publication. As a small business owner, a pharmacist, and a consumer, I agree with your principles on healthcare reform and running a business. I hope the discussion continues and there is greater debate of your suggestions for healthcare reform. Thank you for courageously speaking out.</p>
10/03/2009 9:14:00 AM CDT
Blaine says ...
<p>Wow. Keep talking John I could not agree more with your article in the Wall Street journal and am so appreciative of your speaking out. I have been a fan of wholefoods from the early days and would drive across Dallas just to have the experience and buy the food. Please Please keep getting the info out there. You are right on target and while it is easy to sit back and let some 'nanny' take care of us it feels so much better to take care of ourselves thru diet, exercise and good common sense. Personal responsibility is so important which in turn creates happier more responsible citizens. It is not easy and maybe not for everyone but it is better to have more responsibility than less. I could go on and on but you have said it all very well. Keep on chugging on all fronts.</p>
10/03/2009 10:56:00 AM CDT
Brian J.Bolton says ...
<p>Today's, October 3rd., 'Health Care Rebuttal' article in the Wall Street Journal is 'right on' on so many levels. BRAVO !<br> Is there some way, or some acceptable forum, whereby you can or could take this 'show on the road''¦to achieve much broader coverage and appreciation of your thoughts and opinion'¦.?<br> The American public is being hoodwinked on the facts by the Government in order for them to embark us on a Government controlled path toward Socialism.<br> I agree that totally unbridled Capitalism can, and typically does, lead, through greed, to unacceptable excesses'¦.But, enlightened Capitalism, examples of which you give, allows and encourages the individual to excel and reap fair reward for successful effort. This must be preserved and encouraged at all costs'¦else the fabric upon which the United States was founded, and has prospered for 200 plus years, will be eroded for ever.<br> Again, thank you for your words and wisdom. Let's now create a way, a vehicle, to get them more broadly read, understood and appreciated.<br> BjB.</p>
10/03/2009 11:25:00 AM CDT
e kerner says ...
<p>Mr Mackey<br> Thanks you for your courage in writing what many of us feel. I have been a physician for almost 30 years, and I agree with just about everything you so cogently discussed. In fact, I made copies of your op-ed piece and handed them out in the office. You seem to be a reluctant prophet, but you speak for those of us that have only a limited audience, and no power. Keep it up!</p>
10/03/2009 1:54:00 PM CDT
Richard Smith says ...
<p>First, let me commend Mr. Mackey and Whole Foods on a great article and a great company. You have, indeed, provided a guide to improving our health care system.</p> <p>I would like to bring up something that I find disturbing and never hear discussed. That is the fact that I as a patient have to pay three times as much for any medical treatment if it is out-of-pocket rather than paid by insurance. If we always received the 'Medicare' or 'Agreed To' rates, our Health Savings Accounts would go three-plus times as far and, thus, far less would be paid by the insurance company, and, thus, the insurance premiums would be far less as well. Perhaps you can persuade your insurance company to control the rates charged for all visits, not just the one the employee funds.</p> <p>It is good to hear from those who have proven themselves in the market place. Too many opinions come from those with no knowledge and no experience.</p>
10/03/2009 2:27:00 PM CDT
Marc Freimuth says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey ' Thank you for having the courage to share your ideas and your experience with a plan that has actually been in practice and works. Your plan actually identifies the issues and is focused on addressing them. Whether it works on a larger scale we don't know. Please don't let the screaming intolerance from the Left deter you from speaking truth to power. You set a fine example for this country with your attitudes on being a CEO, on having proper goals for your company, and on the issue of how your company addresses health care.</p>
10/03/2009 3:45:00 PM CDT
Frieda Mecray says ...
<p>Dear Mr Mackey,<br> Your August op-ed piece in the WSJ was outstanding. I agreed with every concept you so articulately described. </p> <p>I have just finished reading The Weekend Interview with John Mackey by Stephen Moore in the WSJ, Saturday, October 3-4, 2009, in which you take your thoughts a bit farther. Again I agree with you wholeheartedly about everything you say. I too wish you would run for President. You make sense. Politicians make nonsense. Politicians know nothing about business. </p> <p>Please continue your efforts on behalf of 'Conscious Capitalism'. Finally someone is speaking out about the benefits of capitalism. It is the most efficient and beneficial system of all. People don't think about where the jobs will come from when we're without people with money. We don't get jobs from poor men ' ever. </p> <p>I hope you speak to college students as much as possible. They need all the help they can get because truth is hard to come by on college campuses. </p> <p>You are a 'breath of fresh air', Mr. Mackey. I'd vote for you any day. You, and the IOU, are the best things I've heard in months. May God bless you and yours.</p>
10/03/2009 4:17:00 PM CDT
Rebecca Andrews says ...
<p>I have loved shopping at Whole Foods ever since I recovered from cancer. But I will be changing to a different store because of Mr. Mackey's health care opinions. By the way, I have a very healthy lifestyle, and this cancer was not a result of anything unhealthy that I did to my body. I resent the attitude that I caused this to myself.</p>
10/03/2009 5:04:00 PM CDT
Monte Bishop says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey, the editorial was just what the doctor ordered. What a refreshing and well-reasoned addition to this rancorous debate! I have read many of the comments that were submitted before mine, and am glad to see plenty of supporters of your view along with the detractors. For those of you threatening to stop shopping at WF simply because of Mr. Mackey's editorial, I really do hope you will reconsider. Think about how well this company is treating its employees, and how much it gives back to the needy in the community through charitable donations. What are you going to do, go interview every owner of the new store you choose in order to make sure that they all believe everything you believe? Will they have to agree with you on who God is, on whether war is ever justified? On whether or not it is ethical to eat meat, or cheese? Will they have to think blue is the best color? You won't find any store suitable with selection criteria like that. It's simply unreasonable. I know that the executives of Microsoft are humanistic liberals, yet I still buy their products. I know that the Ann Arbor News is a liberal rag, but we have subscribed to it for years. Yet I can assure you, Mr. Mackey is very unlikely to be as conservative as I am. I thought the left was supposed to be the tolerant side of our political make-up in this country. Why are you so rash to punish this man, indeed, his whole company, including the employees, simply because he doesn't agree with you about this issue? What about free speech? Whither has your tolerance fled? Furthermore, could it be that Mr. Mackey may just know some things that you don't know, since you have not had to look out for the interests of thousands of employees, or compete with organizations with far fewer moral compunctions about what they sell and who are only looking for the lowest wholesale cost? Mackey comes from your background, and like many liberals, he demonstrates a genuine care for people; it shows. However, he has also learned that capitalism is not evil, that corporations can be very efficient stewards and protectors of their employees, much more so, in fact, than huge governments can be. He brings to the table the accurate stance that executives should not be compensated at 500 times the rate that the average employee is, something many capitalists agree with, but that many executives in the marketplace do not. He is a rare man, forged by an unusual and varied background. Instead of hating him for being different, why don't you consider that he may be showing each side of the debate a way to come together? Stop, think, consider, read the Constitution, and focus on what you agree with in his statement, and in Whole Food's corporate mission, instead of knee-jerking on what you don't. Keep shopping at Whole Foods for what you like, instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater because of what you don't.</p>
10/03/2009 5:20:00 PM CDT
Rick Restivo says ...
<p>Love Whole Foods. Great article ' I couldn't agree more.</p>
10/03/2009 5:49:00 PM CDT
Nevskybaby says ...
<p>Mackey, love you store, your business philosophy, and your ability to use your brain and think.<br> Wish we could clone you, hope you have 10 kids.</p>
10/03/2009 9:09:00 PM CDT
Jon R, says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey writes, 'While all of us can empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have any more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have an intrinsic right to . . . a car or a personal computer?' </p> <p>I'm dubious of the thought processes of those who don't distinguish a broken femur from an iMac or pancreatic cancer from a Mercedes ' maybe I ought to list my torn meniscus on E-bay to test the market. Unfortunately, even hardcore libertarians have trouble not calling 911 when cars collide ' it's that 'empathy' ' although they know the injured will be dumped in the hall of an ER somewhere , rather than left to die cheaply by the roadside, and their (the libertarian's) hard-earned dollars will be at risk. Unless I misunderstand Mr. Mackey's WSJ piece, his prescription is, let 'em bleed if they don't have insurance. </p> <p>I know I'd be healthier if I could pass up the highly sugared, white-flower treats on offer at my neighborhood Whole Foods, and maybe I shouldn't have given up the WF panoply of vitamins and supplements for a one-a-day and fish oil from CostCo ' but Mackey's assertion that we could all expect to live into the 90s if we just accept the personal responsibility of eating from his stores is about as sound as the claim that behind many small cumulus clouds lurks a flying saucer, which I heard from an old friend last week. The evidence for this is the usual health-monger stuff that takes no account of the stressful, smog-filled, anxiety laden lives most of us live in this corporate-ridden culture.</p> <p>In view of this rant, why do I still shop at my neighborhood WF? Well, I can't find Pavel yogurt anywhere else, nor decent crystallized ginger or raw Brazil nuts. I also buy milk and eggs there (and the occasional highly sugared, white-flower treat). But I can find almost everything else that I used to buy at WF at other stores whose Big Man (or Men) have the good sense to keep their right-wing views to themselves.</p>
10/03/2009 9:19:00 PM CDT
Gina says ...
<p>Hello Mr. Mackey!</p> <p>I second (or third? or fourth?) those above who want you to run for president. You would have my vote.</p> <p>Your article was a breath of fresh air. I love those that make sense! Your blog is great and I agree with you completely. As a political science major, I wholeheartedly agree with all of the problems you see with government (taking too much money, bailing out businesses). As a philosophy major, I can understand how you never finished college. Philosophy makes you crazy.</p> <p>I really hope to meet you someday or I would love to pay for you to come speak at The College of New Jersey. As a vegetarian and one with the same philosophy as you on gov't, CEOs, health, and most importantly, health care, it seems like I couldn't find a better speaker.</p> <p>I actually have never shopped at Whole Foods because there is not one around my home and I'm in college <img src="The%20CEO%E2%80%99s%20Blog%20%C2%BB%20Blog%20Archive%20%C2%BB%20Health%20Care%20Reform%20%E2%80%93%20Full%20Article_files/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" class="wp-smiley"> , but I want to let you know that I'm going to making extra trips to Princeton to make sure I do. I want to let you know that while some people may be boycotting, I will proudly go on a shopping spree (for you and me!)</p> <p>Again, I really hope that I meet you one day. And, if you would ever be interested in speaking at TCNJ, you have my email address.</p> <p>Thanks for the blog!</p>
10/04/2009 9:52:00 AM CDT
David Smith says ...
<p>Thank you Mr. Mackey for stating your opinion. I totally support your view and wish that our politicians would take it to heart.</p>
10/04/2009 10:00:00 AM CDT

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