4,664 Comments

Comments

Sam Schmitt says ...
<p>What a hoot! People refusing to shop somewhere because the CEO disagrees with them on a political issue! Better write to the CEOs of Mercedes, Tiffany's and Brooks Brothers to see if they agree with you on major policy issues before you buy another car, necklace or business suit. Or maybe there are some organic farmers out there who voted for Bush ' you better stop eating organic food since you wouldn't want to support them!</p> <p>I'm also enjoying the classic liberal line that Mr. Mackey 'doesn't care' about those who can't get insurance or who have horrible medical conditions that are not their fault. Does this mean that the Obama plan is the answer? It may look like Obama and the Democrats 'care,' but all the caring in the world can't change what's simply dumb and counterproductive policy. </p> <p>Let me make it simple ' if the health care system in this country is so broken, why are we adding 30 million more people to it ' with money we don't have?</p>
03/24/2010 3:21:00 PM CDT
Jim Capatelli says ...
<p>John,</p> <p>This part of your essay is sick. And sickening. It comes close to pathological in what it reveals about you and the way in which you view other human beings:</p> <p>'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? Health care is a service which we all need at some point in our lives, but just like food, clothing, and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually-beneficial market exchanges rather than through government mandates. A careful reading of both The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter, because there isn't any. This 'right' has never existed in America.'</p> <p>Shameful. Reading this makes me want to vomit. Literally. </p> <p>I'm very glad I haven't given you a penny since the publication of this vile, contemptible screed. I have lost any and all respect for you, John Mackey. Your cruelty, your viciousness and your moral vacuity have overwhelmed any human decency you may once have possessed.</p>
04/07/2010 6:53:00 PM CDT
Coco Bumpers says ...
<p>Wow.I can't believe that you started this article with a Thatcher quote. Could you be more polarizing?</p> <p>Was there no Reagan quote available'¦possibly something about how gays deserve to die from AIDs and don't need/deserve health care. </p> <p>Others have made more cogent points about the fact that:</p> <p>..'the person you quoted presided over a country with a massive socialized medicine apparatus and left it that way. Just today the head of Thatcher's conservative party reiterated their staunch support for socialized medicine.' </p> <p>and </p> <p>2) aside from being an unmitigated disaster of a CEO (for this whole mess) you are apparently a Hypocrite since:</p> <p>'¦'if you TRULY favored individual choice and responsibility, you ought to let your workers unionize if they choose to instead of busting up their attempts to do so (like you did in Madison, WI). I guess in your mind people should be free to do anything they want'¦except organize.'</p> <p>By the way I own a portion of this company, not a large enough portion to fire you, but enough to be completely ashamed that you can't focus on finding fresh food and keep your idiotic opinions to your self. Did you spend WF money on this crap? If not, do you have so much free time to spend on it? amazing.</p> <p>I also happen to be a decorated veteran of this country, injured in active duty. Unfortunately, my family does not qualify for healthcare coverage and I'll be moving overseas where I am fortunate enough to be able to live with my wife in her country, where we can raise a family in a healthcare system a little higher up the worldwide rankings than south of #25!</p> <p>So while I am sure a lot your new customers would say good riddance to me, I will say I am very sorry it has to be this way. I love my country very much.</p> <p>When the kind of TeaBagger Hypocrisy, GOP SuperCruelty and fear mongering you encourage leads to the rise of corn pone Naziism then at least it will mean we will finally get some exercise for our kids, even if it is from forced inscription, forced labor or running from the secret police. </p> <p>Anyone want to buy some WF stock?</p>
04/22/2010 1:39:00 PM CDT
Douglas Thompson says ...
<p>Health Care Reform Act-intent for Change</p> <p>For many years, America's health brokers have been offering health insurance to individuals, small businesses and large businesses for decades, yet the enrollment statistics have revealed a steady decrease on an annual basis. The number of uninsured Americans is estimated to be as high as 30 million, and the Health Care Reform Act offers a solution. Not only will there be a higher enrollment number for America's health brokers, but as of 2014, it will be required by law for every American to obtain health insurance. Every single American will be impacted by the New Health Reform Bill, making it one of the most important measures of the 21st Century.<br> Businesses<br> The main focus will be on businesses of 50 or more employees, in which they will be required to offer individual health plans, as well as family plans to all employees or face some stiff fines from the government. The amount comes to $2000 per uninsured employee, though there are exemptions to this fine. If you as an employer assist an individual with acquiring a personal health insurance plan through an open market called an exchange, then it would result in no fines. This only applies to an individual who makes a certain amount under the Federal Poverty Level, and the premiums are over 8% of his annual income.<br> America's health brokers can rest easy in the fact that there will be expanded coverage, though there may be more competition. With the rise in individuals who will have health insurance, there may not be as large of a risk as one may assume. Though the new bill will require America's health brokers to enroll individuals with pre-existing conditions, there will also be a new population of young individuals who will be insured with fewer health problems.<br> It is understood that larger companies already provide a group insurance plan (HMO, PPO) that covers all areas of needs for the population of employees. These policies will change very little, but there may be some changes in where the funding for the new health care plan will come. It is proposed that those making a certain amount of money, both individuals and couples, will be taxed at a higher percentage than others. This will provide money that can be used for the exchange and making sure that all individuals will be offered an affordable health plan.<br> There are still a few years before the plan goes into full effect, though some of the measures will be enforced immediately. There will be plenty of time to sort out the details and iron out the difficulties. As for the plan, anyone who does not have health insurance as of January 1, 2014, will be penalized a certain amount of money, and this amount could become worse if health insurance is continuously neglected. There has never been a better opportunity for America's health brokers in terms of acquiring a new customer base-a broader customer base. Also, there has never been a better time in history for individuals being provided with the resources for the necessary medical treatment. This is a very unique time, with history in the making. Finally, there will be health care for all.</p>
04/23/2010 7:08:00 AM CDT
Douglas Thompson says ...
<p>A Government proposal for Change-Health Care Reform Act</p> <p>March 2010 may stand out as a monumental month for change with the Obama Administration-Americans can look forward to changes in the current health care system through the passing of the Health Care Reform Act. Though there are many details that need to be ironed out, there are many changes that have been established. </p> <p>There are two factors that will have the largest impact for Americans and America's health brokers:<br> 1)The fact that as of 2014, it is required by law for employers to offer affordable health insurance plans to all employees.<br> 2)As of 2014, all Americans will be required to acquire health insurance.</p> <p>Employers-For businesses over 100 employees, there may not be many changes. The difference may be that part-time employees will be offered aid with a percentage of hours in relation to full-time employment. This will offer benefits to those who do not have that same opportunity currently as a part-time employee. With businesses under 100 employees, there will be opportunities for credits from the government to offer aid with those employees. A percentage will be paid, based on payroll that will pool to help those who acquire insurance through an exchange, where many of America's health brokers will provide different affordable insurance plans for all individuals.<br> What is the incentive for employers to offer insurance?<br> Employers will face a fine of up to $2000 per employee for not providing insurance coverage to an individual employee. These fines can be diverted if the employer offers an alternative means to acquire insurance (which would require assistance through the exchange).<br> Individuals-As of 2014, all Americans (with the exception of certain special case individuals) will be required to carry some form of insurance. Insurance will either be offered through employment or affordable insurance can be purchased through the exchange. America's Health brokers will offer many new plans and opportunities to acquire cheap health insurance.<br> What is the incentive for individuals to acquire insurance?<br> According to the law, there will be a penalty assessed to all Americans who fail to acquire health insurance by the year 2014. The fine will be originally set at $695 per person, per year. This will hopefully be enough to encourage those who are not insured to carry some form of low cost health insurance.<br> America's health brokers will be seeing some changes that could affect them. Pre-existing conditions will no longer be applicable in denying insurance to children. As of 2014, America's health brokers cannot deny health insurance to anyone due to a pre-existing condition. There are other factors that will change certain policies and conditions.<br> The Health Care Reform Bill is an opportunity to reorganize the condition of care that is offered in the United States. There are many issues that riddle the care of many Americans, so hopefully this will provide solutions to some of the larger issues. One key aspect is the fact that all Americans will have the opportunity to have health care. This will be advantageous in many aspects: Prescription medications, preventative care, and treatment.</p>
04/23/2010 7:16:00 AM CDT
Ama says ...
<p>I think some of these healthcare reform ideas are interesting and make sense. However, I do believe that our founding fathers championed 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' It's impossible for our citizens to be truly happy when millions of Americans lack access to basic healthcare. Furthermore, I believe that the right to food and shelter are basic rights Americans should never stop working toward. And, I'm not a socialist. I'm an American with unwavering faith in our ability to live the ideals that make this nation great.</p>
04/26/2010 11:03:00 PM CDT
Miss L Hicks says ...
<p>'While we clearly need health care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and moves us much closer to a complete governmental takeover of our health care system.' </p> <p>I AGREE</p>
04/29/2010 4:44:00 PM CDT
Mark Strong says ...
<p>I find it odd that so many here are responding to Mr. Mackey's thoughts on health care as though he were a politician and they need to vote by spending more at, or by abandoning WFM. I view it more as Mr. Mackey is a supplier of fuel for my body which I need in order avoid disease and since he has managed to put together the best and most reliable source of the foods I seek, I spend most of my food dollars at WFM, with no regard whatever for politics, nor do I care if Mr Mackey is a Libertarian or a Socialist. He offers the best value proposition for obtaining high quality organic produce and that is key in my own health care solution.</p>
07/18/2010 5:41:00 AM CDT
Dan Krause says ...
John, Great, well-constructed piece on this topic. I have a new appreciation of the other side of this argument. Thanks for that!! Thanks also for the great value we find shopping at Whole Foods. It really is a pleasure shopping and doing business there. Dan Krause
11/22/2011 9:45:02 AM CST
Audrey Kleckner says ...
Mr. Mackey, Your analysis is exceptional. Healthcare reform is complex and arcane. Unless one is highly versed in the construct, he would be hard pressed to interface meaningfully with the dialogue you initiate here. Know that it nurtures thoughts, even if not express comments. Thank you for your courage. A customer.
03/04/2012 11:49:25 AM CST
john reoli says ...
interesting article, i used to work for whole foods but not long enough to get their health care. i have to say that they're employee culture, individually and as a group, is unique. some of these ideas have been floated before, such as portability, regional monopolies don't like that idea. president clinton tried tort reform, lawyers don't like that idea, good thing there are no lawyers in congress. and i agree with him whole heartedly when he says most of the diseases affecting americans are preventable and related to smoking, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. i guess instead of the govt "forcing us to eat broccoli" he'd favor a strong suggestion and hope for the best. ultimately, the biggest problem with reforming health care anywhere butts up against other industries who make unhealthy products for consumers. also, i'd say that in a country where the population thinks it has a right to everything the reality of preventable disease vis a vis better eating habits is meaningless. i mean, the first lady is ridiculed for her anti-obesity efforts, taking soda machines out of schools is called totalitarianism, etc. hey, i'm no fan of the affordable care act because it just throws a bone to insurance companies but the president bush had six years of a republican congress to do something and did little. i do agree with his modernizing record keeping in health care because it is done at the VA hospitals, which is where i receive heath care, and it is remarkable. the whole foods model assumes a very involved health care consumer that is steadily employed and healthy enough or has someone to look after their health care when they're ill. and even though he didn't say so, computer savvy and eager to learn, as well. in a country where about 50% of the population votes for a president and even less for other elected officials, and many employers can't or won't provide health care, i don't see how that model works for the general population. i too like shopping and eating at whole foods.
04/04/2012 4:31:04 PM CDT
Robert Gerst says ...
John's blog on building trust in organizations is one of the best articles I have ever read. This is one of the worst. Full of disingenuous nonsense, especially when discussing the Canadian healthcare system. Yes John, 830,000 of us are waiting for a procedure. But these are procedures most Americans aren't entitled to, even with insurance. You run a great organization, so stick to commenting on what you actually know something about.
05/17/2012 7:36:35 PM CDT
PAT LILLIAN says ...
There is no mention in those early documents of "intrinsic rights", of course. Those were harsh times, dangerous, subsistence level. These are abundant times, in an era of ethical revolutionaries who say we can...we can take care of all of us, we just have to want to. Amen.
06/14/2012 10:43:10 PM CDT
BhavanaJagat says ...
WHAT IS HEALTH? : It is interesting to read your concerns about health care and its reform without defining the term 'health'. I would appreciate if the term is defined before we plan to fix the problem or making a plan to provide what is called health care. You have made some interesting observations about the role of food in human nutrition and yet the discussion has not covered a complete definition of what is called 'food'. Unless we define the terms that we use in our conversation, we will never be able to arrive at the right conclusion. At a fundamental level, to begin this conversation about health care, I submit that we may have to briefly state our understanding about man's status in nature, the biological basis for man's physical existence, the elements of human being whose well-being that we need to protect, sustain, preserve, and promote. I am willing to join you in this conversation and I define man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being. Hence, the term 'health' is defined not as the mere absence of disease but as the complete well-being of man; the physical, the mental, the social,the moral, and the spiritual well-being of man who always exists in a given environment as a member of a biological community. Having defined the term 'health', we can now, talk about a plan to promote and preserve man in good health rather than simply spending dollars to fight disease.
06/21/2012 10:56:14 AM CDT

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