4,666 Comments

Comments

Edward Little says ...
<p>Your sound reasoning and clear commentary on health reform has won you a new customer for life'as long as you or a like-minded individual are CEO. While I note the distinction between personal views and corporate policy, I appreciate your courage in taking a stand on a controversial subject. HSA availability, tort reform, insurance liberalization'these are the elements of proper health care reform'along with measures that restore the connection between medical care value and medical care payment, a connection presently honored only by HSA plans. What we don't need is European-style socialism to solve the problems created by earlier installments of European- style socialism. Your contribution to the debate is immensely appreciated.</p>
08/14/2009 6:01:00 PM CDT
rafiki says ...
<p>Mr.Mackey,You really don't understand who the majority of your customers are(I mean were)</p>
08/14/2009 6:03:00 PM CDT
Elena says ...
<p>The people who are now claiming they will boycott Whole Foods are prime examples of what is wrong with liberal left wing politics in this country. Clearly, if you're not with them, you're against them. I hold very similar opinions about our healthcare system and what needs to be addressed and my hope is that those in the Obama administration and Congress will take your suggestions to heart and consider reforming the current state of the healthcare bill. Problems of this magnitude must be addressed from all angles in order to really achieve a positive outcome. As for the boycotters ' they have inspired me to go out and use my consumer spending power to support Whole Foods even more so than I have in the past. Keep up the good work!!!</p>
08/14/2009 6:04:00 PM CDT
@ocveggie says ...
<p>How you could possibly be comfortable denying health care to the poor is beyond me. Not all health problems are preventable by eating well. What about those who are made sick by contaminated water, etc? Should they just eat a low-fat diet and hope they don't get sick?</p> <p>I don't understand how people can be against helping other people. This is not about personal responsibility, it's about compassion. </p> <p>My family and I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods. We will take our business to Trader Joe's. I will advise my coworkers, friends, and extended family to avoid shopping at Whole Foods. I will use Twitter and other social media tools to inform others that the position of Whole Foods is to deny the needy health care.</p>
08/14/2009 6:04:00 PM CDT
Ralph Smith says ...
<p>Thanks, Mr. Mackey. I've always admired the spirit, friendliness, and helpfulness of Whole Foods employees. Now, after your excellent health care article, I will be shopping there even more. I suspect you will gain more freedom-loving customers than you will lose socialist customers.</p>
08/14/2009 6:05:00 PM CDT
Erik D says ...
<p>All Mr. Mackey is doing is making suggestions. How some people extrapolate that out to outright denial of healthcare is beyond ridiculous. </p> <p>This is a conversation people, not a lecture.</p> <p>We have elected government officials who don't know how to stop spending money (on both sides). We have people in Congress who write 1,000 page bills without a clue what's in them. We have a Government who can't take care of it's veterans, yet we want to hand over 1/7 of our economy to bureaucrats? </p> <p>We all need to take a deep breath and demand more from the people in D.C. They are doing no one a favor at this point.</p>
08/14/2009 6:05:00 PM CDT
avid_runner says ...
<p>'Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully.'</p> <p>So if office visits are applied to the deductible, you can be 'careful' by not going to the doctor until you have a dire emergency, then spend it all in the ER and compromise your health in the process. And I'm sure Whole Foods pays their employees so well they ALL have an extra $2,500 saved up to pay for health care.</p> <p>'8. Permit individuals to make voluntary tax deductible donations on their IRS tax forms to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP or any other government program.'</p> <p>Sorry, this just is not realistic. Are YOU willing to pay higher taxes to help provide health care for everyone? If so, how would that differ from a single-payer system? But your piece clearly indicates you're not.</p> <p>'While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?'</p> <p>The government subsidizes both food and shelter, for buyers (food stamps, mortgage deduction, FHA loans) and sellers (agricultural subsidies, bank bailouts). The government even runs single-payer health care for seniors (Medicare).</p> <p>'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.'</p> <p>Few would agree with this if Americans were routinely denied access to food and shelter because they had eaten before or had a history of sleeping indoors.</p> <p>'Over the past two decades, breakthrough scientific research ['¦] have shown that a diet consisting of whole foods which are plant-based, nutrient dense, and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most of the degenerative diseases that are killing us, and becoming more and more expensive to treat through drugs and surgery.'</p> <p>So, John, what percentage of your stores' floor space are dedicated to the sale of relatively low-margin plant-based whole foods like fresh produce and bulk grains? I bet it's a fraction of the floor space devoted to the high-margin refined and processed foods in your pasta, pizza, gelato, and bakery departments; the high-margin dairy and animal foods in your dairy, meat, seafood, and deli departments; and the high-margin alcoholic beverages in your stores' wine departments and tapas bars. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the percentages resemble your American Diet pie chart.</p> <p>Your company showily advocates spending more money for a better, more cooperative altruistic world, but the reality is you're just cashing in on however much of that sentiment you can arouse. That makes you a hypocrite, John.</p>
08/14/2009 6:07:00 PM CDT
Robyn says ...
<p>How wonderful to open the paper and finally find some alternatives for healthcare that don't include an unconstitutional increase of the government into our lives. </p> <p>The president has called for a civil debate on this topic and you have certainly provided that. Our current system definitely needs reform (although people without insurance are definitly not left without treatment as others have said earlier, everyone gets what they need to save their life whether they can pay for it or not) and yours are terrific suggestions!</p> <p>No wonder you have made such a success of your business. I had never heard of it before I read your op-ed so I will definitely be looking it up and will try to shop there!</p>
08/14/2009 6:09:00 PM CDT
Jay says ...
<p>I say a big round of applause for Mr. Mackey taking a stance against this horrific socialist Health Care that the liberals and Democrats are trying to force on Americans. Polls are showing the majority of America is against it, and the numbers against it are growing by the day.</p> <p>My political views are conservative, and I have shopped at Whole Foods many times. Now that Mr. Mackey has made a stance, I will go out of my way to support Whole Foods even more and encourage other people to shop at Whole Foods.</p> <p>I just hope Mr. Mackey is seeing what these liberals are all about, in that they only believe you should be allowed 1st Amendment rights if you agree with them.</p>
08/14/2009 6:10:00 PM CDT
@tavdb says ...
<p>Dear Mr Mackey:</p> <p>The problem is that if you're poor you don't have access to quality food, you just have access to fast food and 'dollar menus' which eventually leads to expensive medical problems: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. </p> <p>How about working with the government to subsidize sustainable/organic farming in order to have more independent farmers creating better nutritious food at lower prices?</p> <p>How about working with the government to provide school lunches for kids that are locally grown and fresh instead of deep fried, heavily process junk food like pizza, french fries and soda.</p> <p>Also, in this economy, now would be a good time to lower the prices on your fresh/organic produce so that more people can afford to shop at Whole Foods and have access to healthy food.</p> <p>' Thomas vandenBroeck</p>
08/14/2009 6:13:00 PM CDT
Jim R. Baumgartner says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey,<br> In the interest of your shareholders, I encourage you to express your political opinions using the numerous anonymous outlets for discussion.</p> <p>Thanks for the clarification, but I'm sure it's going to hurt your new store sales in my neck of the woods. Perhaps you can sue the Wall Street Journal for misrepresenting your views and hurting your company? Maybe you should have known better?</p>
08/14/2009 6:13:00 PM CDT
Laura says ...
<p>I am an infrequent shopper of Whole Foods, but after reading your op-ed, and particularly after reading the attacks against you, I will be making a point of shopping at your store more often. Keep up the good fight!</p>
08/14/2009 6:14:00 PM CDT
Abe Froman says ...
<p>The Margaret Thatcher lead-in quote is ironic, considering the top tax US Federal income tax rate at the moment is 39.6%. Under Thatcher in Great Britain, it was 60% in 1985, and there was Socialized medicine as well. If this were 1985, you'd likely be calling Lady Thatcher a Socialist, if you were in the British taxpayer's shoes.</p>
08/14/2009 6:18:00 PM CDT
Jack says ...
<p><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.libertyunbound.com/archive/2006_06/mackey-winning.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.libertyunbound.com/archive/2006_06/mackey-winning.html</a></p> <p>John Mackey talks about how he went from being a leftist in his youth to waking up and becoming anti-establishment libertarian once he realized that voluntary interaction is win-win.<br> When he says he is in favor of health care reform, he likely means he is in favor of real health-care reform ' which means liberalized commerced and free people interacting on a more voluntary basis, which will allow supply and demand to use resources more efficiently and help more people. Adding on more government regulation would exacerbate the previous regulatory errors made in the past that have caused the health care crisis.</p> <p>It's interesting that in the fields of breast augmentation, laser eye surgery, and contact lenses, quality goes up and prices down every year, because there are market forces because the government does intervene in those areas.</p> <p>For more:http://mises.org/story/3613</p>
08/14/2009 6:18:00 PM CDT
Jim R. Baumgartner says ...
<p>Now that I've read some of the other comments, I'm pretty sure this isn't going to blow over like you probably hope it will. You've opened the Pandora's Box and involved your company in the debate. Good luck.</p>
08/14/2009 6:19:00 PM CDT
Rich W says ...
<p>John,</p> <p>I will make it a point to visit Whole Foods in NJ to show my support for your position and willingness to use your success and position to speak on behalf of the rest of us.</p> <p>Don't let the looney aggregator blogs scare you ' YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!</p> <p>I may even buy your stock!</p> <p>Thank you,</p>
08/14/2009 6:19:00 PM CDT
H. Flynn says ...
<p>John Mackey I support your position 1000%. I have a Whole Food 50 dollar gift certificate in my wallet at all times which I use when in Fairfax, VA . Please open a store, as I was led to believe was going to happen soon, near the Smith Haven Mall in Suffolk County, New York. God bless and I will continue to support Whole Food as long as I live,</p>
08/14/2009 6:28:00 PM CDT
Former Canadian Whole Foods customer says ...
<p>Speaking as a Canadian, I read Mr. Mackey's op-ed piece and his comments about Canadian (and British) healthcare are, er'¦lies. Sorry folks, we are not waiting in long lines for treatment as Mr. Mackey dishonestly claims; nor are we being told where to go to get medical treatment by cold, uncaring socialist bureaucrats as Mr. Mackey also dishonestly depicts. Medication and drugs for treatment are much more affordable than in the USA its worth mentioning also. NOBODY ever died waiting for treatment here Mr. Mackey, that is a bald faced lie that is perpetuated by American health insurance companies to scare ignorant and mislead Americans from switching to a far more economical and effective healthcare delivery system: socialized, or nationalized medical care.</p> <p>If the USAs privatized healthcare system is so great Mr. Mackey, why are 44 million Americans without healthcare? Why are there thousands of Americans dying every year, needlessly, because they are afraid to see a doctor because they know they cannot afford the $1,000-$25,000 treatment'a treatment which their health insurance company routinely refuses to pay out for'even if the claim is legitimate???</p> <p>Further: Canada, Australia, France, Germany, England, Belgium, and the Czech Republic are only a few of the modern industrialized nations which have socialized medicine. NONE OF THEM want anything to do with the bureaucratic nightmare of for-profit healthcare that the USA has been struggling with for so many decades. Time and time again, economic studies have shown the USA's healthcare system is the most expensive, least efficient, and least responsive healthcare delivery system when compared to socialized healthcare systems I've mentioned, such as Canada's.</p> <p>I will no longer shop at Whole Foods, as Mr. Mackey has dishonestly portrayed the healthcare system of my country, and made misleading false claims about it. I would expect more from a CEO of a franchise which claims to be working for humanity and the planet.</p>
08/14/2009 6:28:00 PM CDT
Kathi says ...
<p>I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Mackey. Thank you for your thoughtful article filled with common sense. If you decide to run for office (like Senator from Washington State), you have my vote and support!! And, I'm off to Whole Foods right now'¦.</p>
08/14/2009 6:31:00 PM CDT
Julie says ...
<p>I came to your blog hoping that the original article would redeem you. I'm sorry that it has not. Your ideas are excellent, but only serve a fraction of our population. You take care of you and yours and of course don't let the insurance companies suffer for a minute. Step out of the box sir and look at the world we live in'¦ there is more than exists in your neighborhood.</p>
08/14/2009 6:32:00 PM CDT
Marissa says ...
<p>Thank you for clarifying the reasons why I will no longer be padding your pockets. I would prefer to support my local co-op anyway. Where people actually care about the welfare of others.</p>
08/14/2009 6:33:00 PM CDT
boadicea says ...
<p>By all means, keep my last comment in moderating limbo. Just gives me a reason to point it out all over the internet instead of simply leaving it as part of this discussion.</p>
08/14/2009 6:35:00 PM CDT
Laaz says ...
<p>Well said!</p> <p>I must admit I have not done much shopping at Whole Foods in the past, but I admire your bravery in publishing this piece and I've vowed to spend more of my money at Whole Foods in the future.</p>
08/14/2009 6:36:00 PM CDT
Tim Schiedel says ...
<p>Hey, John;</p> <p>Glad you're getting so much new business out of your contributions to the madness, and hope that these fellows actually put their money where their mouths are, because I'm a real customer who's really not coming back.</p> <p>Good luck;<br> t.</p>
08/14/2009 6:37:00 PM CDT
chris says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey,</p> <p>I've been a Whole Foods customer for years. Your article makes it even easier for me to justify continuing as a customer. Thank you for voicing your PERSONAL thoughts on health care. Your offerings are well thought and far better than what our elected officials have concocted. Running for office any time soon? <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_wink.gif" alt=";-)" class="wp-smiley"></p> <p>Good on you for standing up for what you believe in AND voicing your thoughts, knowing they'd be contentious, but doing so because you're convicted to. You have shown great character and integrity. That is uncommon these days. You won't have trouble finding a job if Whole Foods decides to let you go. It would be their loss.</p> <p>God Bless,<br> Chris Halverson</p>
08/14/2009 6:38:00 PM CDT

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