4,666 Comments

Comments

Carlo Ocando says ...
<p>I can't thank you enough for standing up for what is right and making your views known on this important national issue. I am so grateful that there are people like yourself in the public eye that truly understand health care reform. Anyone who bothers to put their emotions aside and take an objective look at the issue can easily see that government is the only reason we are in this mess. Government is not the solution to our problem it is the cause. Free markets work, unfortunately they don't work very well for politicians who continue to pull the wool over the publics eyes. I was never a patron of Whole Foods, but I am now. Thank you once again and best of luck.</p> <p>Carlo Ocando</p>
12/26/2009 2:07:00 PM CST
Karel says ...
<p>I believe your opinions on Health Care Reform are right on. Your Board of Directors are idiots. I love Whole Foods, shop there frequently, and I haven't been offended in the least by your opinions. In fact, your article encouraged me to shop there more frequently! Your article was so well written and logical'¦I wish I were capable of expressing and communicating those thoughts as well as you did. Keep up the good fight. YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!</p>
12/28/2009 6:35:00 PM CST
Michele says ...
<p>Dear Mr Mckay</p> <p>While reading the original article and your current posting on the matter you have changed my mind on how I felt about you a little bit. BUT, you talk about people causing their own health issues and I agree that applies to many but not all. What about the person who was born with an issue that won't allow them to get insurance? What if that person did everything right, from eating whole foods and being active and social YET they get very sick anyway and no one will help them?</p> <p>If you wonder why I ask this'¦I am that person. I cannot get coverage I can afford. I do everything I am supposed to and for over 30 years from early adulthood I was seldom sick. But the last 2 and a half years have been living 'heck' and not my doing. In my case doctors ignored me for so long that when I finally did get help, I was in much worse shape. I can't afford insurance or to sue them and would rather not add to the law suits YET'¦without health care reform making sure people like me can get some help'¦others will sue and others will suffer.</p> <p>What do you do about those people Mr McKay? Nothing in your comments or article address those who did do everything right but due to circumstance beyond their control cannot get insured.</p> <p>Sure, you can say they don't have a right but sitting where I sit, that is like you saying directly to me'¦'Don't care if your sick'¦don't care if you die'.</p> <p>My town has people trying to get a petition signed to bring one of your stores to our town. I am now sure I will not sign or support it because I don't think you care about much outside of your own little world and this is a huge community and growing more connected daily!</p> <p>Sincerely</p> <p>Michele<br> in NC</p>
12/29/2009 4:20:00 PM CST
Joan McDonald says ...
<p>'Free Markets Work?' Yes, in many situations but not health care. The Free Market has brought us the situation many people are in today. No health care and bankruptcy. Where were all you people when our country spent and continues to spend billions on the war in Iraq? Talk about government waste!</p>
12/31/2009 10:24:00 AM CST
Jennifer Dowd says ...
<p>Dear John,<br> I just watched your appearance on the Stossel show. You are SO right about health care 'reform'. The potential passage of this bill is horrible for the people of our country and for the economy.<br> I am a school teacher and don't make much money, but I do love my current health care options, because I have just that'¦.options. Although I am a teacher, I must say our education system has failed our people, if they can't see examples of how socialism has never worked anywhere it's been tried, yet they desire it! Medicare is going bankrupt and bankrupting many of our states, and yet they want more of that!!!! Big government is not the solution, it's the problem.<br> I don't live near a Whole Foods Market, but next time I'm in town with one, you bet I'll l make the effort to shop there.<br> Good for you! I wish you and your company continued success!</p> <p>Jennifer Dowd</p>
12/31/2009 9:28:00 PM CST
Jeff Dawson says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey, Bravo! Thank you for speaking up regarding health-care reform for so many Americans. </p> <p>Many of us choose to take care of what we eat and exercise. Many of us are self employed and pay for our own insurance or our employers pay the majority of our insurance payments. President Obama and those voting with him think that we, the tax payers, should not only be responsible for ourselves, our health, our own insurance (or paying our medical bills out of pocket) and our tax dollars supporting welfare (which is sometimes a necessity for some and just a crutch or free ride for others), BUT NOW WE ARE EXPECTED TO FOOT THE BILL for everyone to be insured whether or not they work, whether or not they care about their health or what they can do to improve their quality of health.</p>
01/01/2010 10:36:00 PM CST
Lindsay Levin says ...
<p>Dear John:</p> <p>I'm saddened to see that as the CEO of Whole Foods, a company associated with healthy living, you have taken such a strong stance against healthcare for all Americans because, it seems, of vague fears about socialism, suggesting instead that deregulation is the answer.</p> <p>Further deregulating the health insurance industry can only add to the problems in our system. When will our whole country realize that deregulation has never helped improve ANY industry's quality of service and fair treatment of customers? Regulations are there to protect consumers. Deregulation is what has caused this country to fall apart economically over and over again, because it allows businesses and CEOs to thrive and get richer and richer while everyone else gets poorer (and gets worse products and services). People hear that hot-button word, 'socialism,' and think we're going to turn into the former USSR or China if we no longer allow the insurance industry to function without regulation or competition. What some may not realize is that pure, unchecked capitalism is almost as bad as pure, unchecked socialism. </p> <p>We need something in between: RESPONSIBLE capitalism! Humans, not angels, run companies, and they are morally fallible as the rest of us. The worst part is, if someone has a monopoly ' and the insurance industry does run as a monopoly, with a crazy anti-trust exception to the law ' customers don't have a choice. </p> <p>When it comes to grocery shopping, luckily, we do have a choice. You'll find me exercising my capitalistic powers at Trader Joe's these days.</p>
01/02/2010 3:45:00 AM CST
chasvs says ...
<p>John,</p> <p>Well said and unfortunately, the Liberal Religion of socialism won't allow even an honest debate of the values you share. Liberals/Socialists don't understand the Capital Market process and can't listen long enough to understand the concept. To be sure, you're dead to them since you have dared to speak truth to their Socialist Power structure! Sad, that the world's last best hope for peace and freedom is being destroyed from within. Obamacare will destroy our healthcare system and Obama himself will destroy the rest of our libery!</p>
01/02/2010 7:57:00 PM CST
Stephen Guffanti, MD says ...
<p>I graduated from medical school in 1976. In the last 33 years I have worked in every kind of government hospital from Indian health and VA to rural clinics and county hospitals. It is no secret that the government can't run health care just last year the news was full of articles on the bad treatment at the VA hospitals. Two years ago Martin Luther King hospital was closed for letting a patient die on the floor of the waiting room vommitting blood. Why would anyone give the government more money when they have this incredible track record of doing a pitiful job?</p>
01/03/2010 11:36:00 AM CST
Brad says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey says that health care is not a right, but I believe that we have a moral obligation to try to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Moreover, we need to stop JUDGiNG the less fortunate for needing our help in the first place. Any one of us could be one of the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance. Health care simply should not be profit based. Let's not let fear and greed choke out our common decency and compassion.</p>
01/03/2010 9:15:00 PM CST
Steve Reed says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey,<br> My wife and I have enjoyed shopping and eating at your store in the Sacramento area; excellent products and helpful, educational employees. Then I heard about your op/ed article! What a vision'it sure is working for your company! So much so that I just applied for a position. I want to work with people like you that have bold, sensible ideas! Listen up America'¦</p>
01/06/2010 1:19:00 AM CST
Unwhole Foods says ...
<p>I have to say first, that I was shocked by your comments about healthcare. Even if you thought that only the wealthy deserve health care, what did you hope to accomplish by posting your right-wing conservative views, representing a company that thrives due to the wallets of your mostly progressive, equality-minded customers. If you want to blog, it might work better if you did it on your own, distancing yourself from Whole Foods. Congratulations, you have received a lot of coverage for your views. Since this blog posting, I have vowed never to step into a Whole Foods until you are ousted from your position at Whole Foods. You are a disgrace to humanity.</p>
01/06/2010 8:10:00 PM CST
Nystrom says ...
<p>Interesting Health Care thoughts by Whole Foods CEO. I like the well-thought out explanation of this point of view. </p> <p>However, it outlines no solution for addressing the problems that arise from this approach. </p> <p>- Where should the poor get their nutritious food? The lack of nutritious and affordable produce in poor urban areas is well-documented ' - as is the fact that the presence of multiple McDonalds increases in an area as HHI decreases. Even if you put a WF in those neighborhoods, few could afford to shop there.</p> <p>- How should the people with poor habits learn new habits? If we switch to your solutions, there is clearly a huge population that has a lot to learn (and powerful industries that make a lot of money pushing those poor decisions'¦. tobacco'¦. alcohol'¦ packaged foods'¦ television'¦).</p> <p>- How do we handle those that are injured by others and there's no potential for recovering funds from the responsible party? I can carry my own insurance and be responsible for my own decisions ' but if I can't work and have lifelong expenses because of someone else, what then?</p> <p>- How do you hold healthcare providers responsible for negligent care? If you propose the mechanism for ensuring quality is that a bad provider will go out of business, then how many lives have to be affected (or lost) by that provider before that consequence occurs? We must have a way to deal with this. (Although, I do think we need to understand that non-negligent bad events happen.)</p> <p>I don't believe in funding the consequences of other people's bad decisions, but we must also describe the solutions to creating more responsible citizens before we do away with any safety net. I've not seen that here, and to not do so, is irresponsible.</p>
01/18/2010 9:34:00 AM CST
former customer says ...
<p>Some of your ideas are good, but your negative usage of the term socialized medicine and the lies that people in Canada and UK have to wait longer, and get worse treatment than ordinary people in US, makes me sick just reading your text. If the rest of the statements that Whole foods makes are as false then I never believe any your statements.<br> As a consumer of health care in USA and Europe I can only say that European health care is by far Superior, less expensive and far less bureaucratic than the US private insurance system. And you don't have to feel bad because you know that all your fellow citizens have the same good health care as you.</p>
01/20/2010 3:01:00 PM CST
Linda says ...
<p>I was not pleased with your WSJ article. However, I understand how we are all scared to go into more trillions of dollars into debt for benefits that I may not even see myself. However we have to start somewhere and the Republican Party has not contributed any realistic ideas to health-care reform.</p> <p>Your statement 'moving'¦toward less governmental control' is where we have been for the all of these years and it has gotten us nowhere. The Republican party have dominated the White House for the last 20 of the 28 years promoting policies benefitting big business and pushing less governmental control on everything and look where that got us ' a total collapse in the banking industry. That is where health care will go if we let the healthy insurance industry dictate what our policies will be ' for the benefit of their bottom line and the fat cat insurance CEO. They don't really care about us.</p> <p>I like some of your ideas but the private industry will not do any of them without being force by the government. For example, even for a simple first time office visit, the doctor's office can't give me the price of the office visit without me first being seen. Doctors have no incentive to give me the price upfront unless a government body forces them to. When I go to the auto body shop- I can request and get an estimate only because the government has given me this consumer right. Why can't I get it at the doctor's office? The answer is because the insurance industry pays million to lobby against people like us ' we have so very little consumer right. I feel that Republicans represent the insurance industry and don't care about the little people.</p> <p>I don't think that your comparison of other countries is very productive. This is America, it is not England or Canada. We are and have always been unique. We have to find a public health care that fits us. Fear is very demobilizing, as I know that is what you want to do to your readers; scare us into the corner so that nothing gets changed. The sad thing is, it may be working.</p> <p> The Democrats are just the lesser of two evils; at least they are genuinely trying. So, when you insult change, your customers are going to take it personally. I don't want to pay anymore than we have to in taxes, but the time has come for change and any change is better than the alternative ' do nothing.</p>
01/23/2010 4:20:00 AM CST
Linda says ...
<p>Socalism ' aren't the roads going to your store belong to the public?<br> Are you against roads too or do you just want to pay for your own roads?</p>
01/23/2010 4:41:00 AM CST
George A. Butel says ...
<p>When I buy music, I don't care if the singer is to the right, or the left, or what the singer thinks or says. My sole concern is whether I like it or not. When it comes to food, I feel the same way. It wouldn't bother me if Mr. Mackey were a Nazi or if he were a Communist: all I care about when I buy at Whole Foods is whether the food is any good, and if it is what I want. There are precious few alternatives.<br> I am a great believer in free speech, and I believe Mr. Mackey had'and has'the right to voice his opinion. People who believe that he doesn't, or that he shouldn't have, don't belong in America, and I am thankful that I won't see their ilk when I shop at Whole Foods. Let them all do America a favor and leave it for those of us who do believe in things like free speech.</p>
01/27/2010 1:12:00 AM CST
Inez Peirce says ...
<p>I quote from your article: 'All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce and expensive treatments.' This is totally false, ALL countries do not make their citizens wait in lines.I have lived in Belgium and Italy and both have superb health care systems where i have never had to wait for anything. I had a serious operation that changed my life which i could not have afforded in the US where i have family living so am aware of the costs. I am so disappointed in the self-centred comments of Mr Mackey. I have always shopped exclusively at Whole Foods to avoid pesticides and hormone additives as i care about the health of my children and grandchildren and the health of the planet. On my extended stays in the US i shall seek other organic suppliers in future. I do however applaud the idea of having a starting line (initial constraint) for all but the extremely needy to reduce unnecessary costs. Don't lose sight of the fact though that a prompt diagnosis may save further costs.</p>
02/08/2010 11:36:00 AM CST
AJ says ...
<p>I did not realize that the majority of Whole Food shoppers are right wing fundamentalists that have no idea what it is like not to have things like, health insurance. My husband(in the state of Massachusetts) works at Whole foods. Because we are a same sex marriage we would have to fill out notorized forms to prove we are married even though all our local insurances cover us.The state law requires it.If I really had to go through this insulting task of proving what my marriage certificate already proves ,the insurance for the spouse is double what i pay for both of us. Luckily I have a state regulated insurance(Tufts). When my husband got sick a few years ago the two days in the emergency room we had to pay $3000 with his insurance from Whole Foods. So if he did not have the medical expense plan that Whole foods has provided to make up for the horrible insurance ,we would be talking to debt collectors to this day. My insurance on the other hand did not send me one bill when I had to go. So rich people may think its a good plan because they have $3000 in the bank, but poor people are in deep trouble. If he had to go back to the ER again in the same year we would not be able to cover the bill with the medical expense plan. So how sick! Most of the employees at whole foods make less than $20k a year.How simple minded self serving conservatives think is the problem with America. Dump John Mackey</p>
02/10/2010 9:32:00 AM CST
Jana says ...
<p>A very good article. We believe in prevention rather than waiting to get sick and trying to cure it. People need to take control of their own health, and not just eat and drink anything they want, and then hope a doctor can give them a drug to make them well. Who was it that said, 'let your food be your medicine'?</p>
02/11/2010 10:01:00 AM CST
Julia in Austin says ...
<p>I commend Mr. Mackey for his constructive ideas on our Healthcare issues in the United States. Making Healthcare 'free' or 'universal' has not proven to get decent healthcare to anyone in a more effective or efficient manner. In fact, it is the opposite. Ask anyone you know in Poland, (where one of my friend's bosses just paid $5,000 under the table to get a much needed surgery for his mother ' instead of waiting over a year) or Canada or England. If you went directly to a Michael Moore movie, please try to objectively find another source. He is a little sensational ' it is Hollywood after all. </p> <p>I would like the best and brightest of America's youth to consider medicine as a career, and believe they should be paid for their sacrifices when selecting that field. Long hours, so much school, a tremendous stress load. Not like Canada where you like fixing things ' so you chooose between being a mechanic or a doctor because both pay the same, and the socialism structure has sucked out any rewards for healing people.</p> <p>And tort reform is inclined towards the malpractice suits against doctors, not food safety like another commenter suggested. And if you think the FDA ' another monolithic government agency ' has your back on that ' you are kidding yourself. Think of nutrasweet, and Splenda and now Stevia. All are FDA approved, and have neurological implications if ingested too much or periods of time. Don't rely on the government to make sure you are protected. DO IT YOURSELF. You are smart enough. </p> <p>And that is what this opposition to Universal Healthcare is about. I can make my own choices on health care. I don't want the government to do it for me. They are not equipped to do a good job. Look at the huge Medicare deficient they current have. What's the problem with doing what Mr. Mackey suggests and having them fix that first ' before we hand over universal control? </p> <p>And what is the rush for this most important topic. I understand it is important -but no need to rush over the cliff to find their is no safety net or bridge to take you across the ravine. Rushing insures you will surely plummet to an untimely death. Why must this administration and the Democratic congress try to push this through?</p> <p>I scrimp and safe and have my own portable health insurance. I am very happy with it. </p> <p>Mr. Mackey ' Thank you for suggesting these well thought out points, and responding to President Obama's call to action. It takes courage to do that I believe you are a genuine part of the solution. </p> <p>I will shop even more frequently at Whole Foods Market.</p>
02/18/2010 11:53:00 AM CST
Douglas Howell says ...
<p>'Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.' What that means is to allow insurance companies to set up in the state with the least regulation.<br> 'Repeal all government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.' So that insurance companies can create policies that have to be studied for hours by lawyers to understand what they really do or don't cover? Thanks but no thanks.<br> 'Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors into paying insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.' Sure if someone has the wrong leg amputated what's the big deal?<br> 'Many promoters of health care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care-to universal and equal access to doctors, medicines, and hospitals. 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 food, clothing, owning their own homes, a car or a personal computer?'<br> I think the comparison to food, clothing to the extent that it is essential and shelter from the elements is valid. No one calls home ownership, car or PC ownership a right. You are right though most of us think we should not allow our fellow citizens starve, freeze to death or go without basic health care. After all this country was founded by people who said things like 'All men are created equal.' Those silly socialists forgot to add 'except those born into poverty who are fundamentally inferior or those born into wealth who are clearly superior.'</p>
02/22/2010 2:01:00 PM CST
Steven L Wolf says ...
<p>Please help me to make your shoppers, your followers and America aware of the alternative to Socialized Health Care. Health Care reform that embraces the Free-Market and Individual Responsibility. It's the 21st Century and It's about time we help each other in a way that's beneficial to each other. Please read and support the Legislative Initiative.<br><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.theamericancarecard.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.TheAmericanCareCard.com</a><br> Thx. StevenLWolf</p>
03/07/2010 5:32:00 PM CST
ed says ...
<p>after reading your position i will seek out the nearest store and begin shopping!!</p>
03/24/2010 11:20:00 AM CDT
SL Godwin says ...
<p>Albert Einstein, said, 'Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form.'</p>
03/24/2010 2:03:00 PM CDT

Pages