4,666 Comments

Comments

AngryLibrarian says ...
<p>This article is so disturbing.</p> <p>You've obviously been reading too much Ayn Rand and have forgotten about humanity, sympathy, AND REALITY.</p> <p>I wish you would have (instead of saying 'fix medicare' and 'repeal taxes') addressed REAL issues that can be dealt with such as 'pre-existing conditions' that prevent people from accessing any kind of health insurance even if they could afford it. Or how insurance companies select what procedures, medicines, treatments, etc. they will cover and for whom regardless of a doctor's opinion or the severity of their condition. That's rationing. That's careless, selfish, and blood-thirsty. If a corporate, for-profit, insurance company recognizes that denying someone treatment while they still pay for insurance works in their (heartless) favor'¦that's what they're going to do. And that's what they're doing. And it's a crime.</p> <p>To say we don't have an intrinsic right to food &amp; shelter also implies that our police force, fire department, public schools, national parks, hell even our military, should only exist for those wealthy enough to have stuff and have their own sense of entitlement to these services. Those who are rich enough and therefore worthy enough to live. That's disgusting. to imply that one person has the right to be protected or to have access to food over another'why? because you sit in an office and run a grocery store? because that's harder work than the strawberry pickers in california providing the produce that you mark up and profit off of? Oh right, they're illegal immigrants they definitely don't have a right to live. </p> <p>Excuse my tangent.</p> <p>It's just mind boggling to me that the desire to preserve American lives with hard reform and sacrifice by all for the common good is not seen as patriotic. Your list of points is completely abstract and irrelevant and misleading to your supporters. All I read is 'I have good health, lots of money, amazing insurance: that's my right. You have no MS, no money, and no insurance: that's not my problem.' What about your sense of entitlement? You speak as though only the wealthy have worked hard for what they have while millions upon millions or people struggle everyday to scrape by. And it's this labor that you profit off of. Why not protect it? Do you really see the under/uninsured as expendable?</p> <p>For a company that presents itself as so progressive, so full of sympathy and empathy, you sure do leave a lot of your shoppers confused and saddened.</p> <p>You'll be happy to note that I never really shopped at your store anyway since your prices are almost as bad as the cost of health insurance. </p> <p>I know this is probably too liberal for you, but this NYTimes article might give you a glimpse at the people you wish to deny access to:</p> <p><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/health/13clinic.html?_r=1&amp;ref=health" rel="nofollow">http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/health/13clinic.html?_r=1&amp;ref=health</a></p>
08/14/2009 6:40:00 PM CDT
Bill Pearson says ...
<p>'I was asked to write an op/ed piece' Please!.. that bs may fly with your Texas golfingbuddies, but op/ed columns are submitted for consideration not ordered up like a shot of wheat grass. I've never heard of a newspaper requesting someone write an op/ed. It must be nice to feel that self-important. </p> <p>That small detail aside, what were you thinking? Are you so dug into the red state way of life that it didn't dawn on you that a big chunk of your customer base might take offense at your stating an opinion on such a volatile subject? Any way this played out, you were going to upset a whole bunch of customers. I bet you can't wait for the next board meeting. If sales tank this weekend, the meeting may even get pushed up.</p> <p>I just reread your opinion piece and agree that you have something to say on this subject. But not in the WSJ'¦ or the LA or NY Times. Get invited to appear before one of the House or Senate committees. You're a big, important guy. Your people could swing that invitation in a heartbeat. Guys like you can help our country the most by finding something you can support and then helping unify the disparate sides. If this doesn't start<br> happening, we all lose. And if we all lose, organic tofu and free range octopus will be the least of our worries.</p>
08/14/2009 6:43:00 PM CDT
Former Seattle Customer says ...
<p>I was a regular customer of Whole Foods, but no more. I'm not putting a penny in your pockets. If you really think your business can survive on right wing customers alone you're sadly mistaken. See you in bankruptcy court.</p>
08/14/2009 6:43:00 PM CDT
M.Smith says ...
<p>Excellent! I will go out of my way to shop at Whole Foods. Thanks for having the courage to speak out and tell the truth.</p>
08/14/2009 6:45:00 PM CDT
NC Politics says ...
<p>I was a customer, but no more. This is straight out of the Heritage Foundation playbook, who if you haven't seen them is running ads against health insurance reform.</p>
08/14/2009 6:46:00 PM CDT
Galt is Dead says ...
<p>You sir, are as far from a Patriot as one can get. And you commenters who have called Mr. Mackey a Patriot have a lot to learn about what makes America great. </p> <p>We. Care. About. Each. Other.</p> <p>Yes, even the poor. Yes, even those who do not speak English. Yes, even the 'shiftless.' Yes, even those in (gasp) UNIONS!!</p> <p>Your views are rooted in nothing but greed, fear and ignorance. You don't want YOUR money going to pay for SOMEONE ELSE to get treatment. Why not suggest we go to a for-profit police force? $9.99 for the first reported crime, $5.00 for each additional crime. If you want us to go after the man who robbed your house, that's an extra $49.95 ' but check for coupons in your ValPak!</p> <p>What about a privately-owned Fire Department? Firefighting is $400/hr. (Fire trucks aren't cheap!) If you can't pay '¦ well, there's your garden hose, knock yourself out. And if the fire was due to 'pre existing conditions' like faulty wiring, then forget about it even if you do have the cash. Get the marshmallows and make the best of it.</p> <p>Of course, real patriots can just pull themselves up by the bootstraps and buy their own private fire departments and police forces.</p> <p>The 'Every Man For Himself' Reagan era had a good run, but it's over now, Mr. Mackey. Real Americans now realize the value of caring for each other. But Mr. Mackey believes in the free market, and won't listen unless you speak with your wallets. </p> <p>Whole Foods is for Birthers.</p>
08/14/2009 6:46:00 PM CDT
Jim R. Baumgartner says ...
<p>Looks like Mr. Mackey has a few supporters on the blog. I hope you manage to sell organic food to non-liberals. Good luck with expanding the natural foods business with conservatives. LOL.</p>
08/14/2009 6:51:00 PM CDT
zack anderson says ...
<p>Dear Whole Foods,</p> <p>I have spent tens of thousands of dollars at your stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Manhattan over the years.</p> <p>I will never spend a nickel there again.</p> <p>Thank you for making my life less complicated.</p> <p>Sincerely,</p> <p>Zack Anderson</p>
08/14/2009 6:51:00 PM CDT
Samantha J says ...
<p>I keep reading that you have NEW costumers now, Mr. Mackey. You have just done a great marketing job! Losing your actual and abundant target and getting a new and scarce one.<br> People who care about their health enough to pay a bit more for their goods are usually people who also care for everyone else's well-being. Now you got yourself tons of greedy republicans who were not able, in the first place, to invest on their own healthy food. Lets see for how long will these new costumers be Whole Foods clients.</p> <p>I will not buy again in Whole Foods. It's not because you don't have the right to speak up, it's because your deceitful article confuses people.</p>
08/14/2009 6:54:00 PM CDT
Jo says ...
<p>I've been shopping at the Lamar store at least twice a week because it's on my commute. No more. I cannot and will not support a business whose CEO advocates against the little guy. </p> <p>I should probably thank you, as this boycott will end up saving me money in the long run.</p> <p>Also, those who strain to applaud Mr. Mackey would be well served to research WF employees' actual plans. They do not get the amount of 'health care dollars' Mr. Mackey states until they have worked for WF for a number of years. A plan with a $2500 deductible only encourages waiting until health problems are severe enough to pay more than a co-pay. This costs EVERYONE. Every day we put off comprehensive, compassionate health care reform is a day our country gets closer to the end of the debt and negative productivity plank.</p>
08/14/2009 6:55:00 PM CDT
Joe R says ...
<p>Yes, while Americans are overweight and obese, this is supposedly a first world country and we should develop a more efficient and effective health system that covers all Americans, regardless of socio-economic status. As a loyal Whole Foods shopper, I am surprised that John Mackey would side with the forces for selfishness and greed, and that he not advocate for a modern health care systems like in the other highly developed countries. </p> <p>'To whom much is given, much is expected.' Frankly, I expected more from Mr. Mackey and Whole Foods.</p>
08/14/2009 6:55:00 PM CDT
JoshS says ...
<p>Sorry, Mr Mackey ' a totally bogus response. Your quote at the beginning comparing health care reform to socialism says it all. If you had your way, insurance for the poor would only be there if we made a donation on our tax form. And people born with disabilities that no one wanted to insure? Your answer is eat more fruit from Whole Foods.</p> <p>You lost me as a customer and your subterfuge in your response has me more resolved than ever to be in front of your Arlington VA store frequently, handing out copies of your editorial.</p> <p>You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. However, I am also perfectly entitled to show my disagreement and take the dollars I spend at your store and spend them at Harris Teeter. </p> <p>I hope your Board of Directors takes notice of this.</p>
08/14/2009 6:55:00 PM CDT
Jen says ...
<p>My mother has a high-deductible insurance policy and here is how it works: she spends $300 per month on health insurance that she cannot use because all of her extra money is being spent on paying for the policy in the first place. She can't afford a mammogram, for God's sake. An HSA would help her how, exactly? You can't save money you don't have. </p> <p>High-deductible insurance for someone with low income is nothing more than very expensive catastrophic coverage.</p> <p>Thank you for your article in the WSJ, it has made me realize that my money is better spent elsewhere.</p>
08/14/2009 6:57:00 PM CDT
Chaz says ...
<p>Your ideas are still more of the same old right wing free market bull.</p>
08/14/2009 6:57:00 PM CDT
allison says ...
<p>Thank you for having the courage and conviction to come out publicly against this further power grab being pushed by the wildly out of touch Federal legislators. As a critical care professional I see daily how Americans abuse their bodies in spite of the fact that they have been counselled by doctors, nurses, PSA's, etc. It is sickening to hear how our President is demonizing and slandering the dedicated physicians and surgeons whose hard work and devotion to quality patient care I witness every day at work. We will be shopping at Whole Foods more often. Please keep speaking out.</p>
08/14/2009 6:59:00 PM CDT
Joan says ...
<p>You lost me with your opening Thatcher quote. It's also somewhat disingenuous to state that you are not reflecting the views of Whole Foods Market because the truth is you are Whole Foods Market. I will no longer be shopping there. I should add I live in New York City. I guarantee you this has not played well here.</p>
08/14/2009 7:00:00 PM CDT
R. Walker says ...
<p>Thank you for being brave enough to express your opinion. Whether I agree with you or not, it takes guts, and I will be shopping at your store simply because you are not one of the silent majority. Silence is what gets us into messes in the first place.</p> <p>You should not be condemned for voicing your opinion ' is that not the right of all citizens of a free country? Those who won't shop at your store are also exercising their rights, but it's sad that they won't ' THEY are the reason so many people stay silent.</p> <p>Fear of voicing opinion.</p>
08/14/2009 7:00:00 PM CDT
Nick Kokoshis says ...
<p>The message I got from Mr. Mackey's editorial is clear: health care should be rationed not according to need, but according to economic class status: the wealthy will never have to wait for health care, the middle class may or may not have access to it depending on the whims of the health care insurance company), and the working poor and destitute should get health care at the charitable whims of the super-rich (like CEOs of huge companies that need a charity tax write-off.)<br> I have never seen such ball-faced greed from someone who stands for something like the health food and environmental movement which has always been a concern of the left wing and ridiculed by the right wing. Apparently the old saying that power corrupts absolutely and the rich care only about their own is absolutely true.</p>
08/14/2009 7:03:00 PM CDT
Dara Beam says ...
<p>I wish I had a Whole Foods here in Knoxville, TN. I admire your willingness to share your views, despite the fact that you stand to lose money because of them. If I didn't have to drive to Nashville to shop your stores, I would!</p>
08/14/2009 7:03:00 PM CDT
bryantp says ...
<p>Your description of the Canadian health care system is follows stereotypes and is totally inaccurate. Currently, I live in a country with 'socialized' medicine (Japan). Their system works far better than ours, does not eliminate choice, and has long waiting periods only for elective surgery. When in the U.S., I've been a staunch customer of yours since the Austin days. I'm rethinking that. It seems you've lost touch with your roots. For a really well-balanced report on this, check out the Denver Post at <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_12523427" rel="nofollow">http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_12523427</a></p>
08/14/2009 7:03:00 PM CDT
Mike says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey,</p> <p>First, I have no opinion yet on wether the current bill in congress is good or bad. Why? Because there is no way to believe what anyone says, including you. </p> <p>I don't know what the solution is, but one thing is simple to understand. Health care insurance companies exist to make a profit for themselves and their shareholders. After all the consolidation and merging and expense reduction, re-engineering, etc. etc. the only way left for these companies to grow and increase profits is to avoid paying claims'keeping the money.</p> <p>How is this done? By denying claims, finding pre-existing conditions after the fact once you get sick and dropping you (My dad was somehow supposed to know he had cancer when he renewed his insurance this year even though it had only been diagnosed in July. Yes, he's been dropped because they claim he knew.) Now, my brothers and I are paying for his treatment out of our savings. Looks like I'm going to have to get a loan for my daughters college education which begins 4 years from now.</p> <p>Until a few years ago, I would have agreed that we have the best health care in the world. That's because until a few years ago when I got the bug and started my own business, I worked for Fortune 100 companies where I received very good health insurance. Not once was a claim denied or unpaid. Not once did I have a concern about my health care.</p> <p>Now, I have private insurance. But I've spent at least 50-60 hours on the phone with my insurance company, fighting over every single claim. They refuse the claim, every time. I have to resubmit, every time. My doctors don't get paid for months and I'm losing well over a week of productivity. </p> <p>My business is actually doing very well at the moment, but I'm losing work and sleep over my families health care. Worst part is, this is the same insurance company with almost the exact same plan that I had at my last corporate job. Seems that if you're not on a giant corporate group plan, you don't count. </p> <p>As for those long lines in Canada and the UK, we've got a much longer one here in the U.S. It's 40+ million uninsured who don't have a line to stand on. I have insurance and I had to wait over six weeks to see a specialist last year- only to wait another 4 weeks to see another specialist and then wait for 2 months for surgery. That's almost 5 months waiting. But, oh, I forgot. No one waits in America for health care.</p> <p>One other area we agree on is that refined and processed foods are playing a tremendous role in the fattening of America. Are you saying we should go after big agriculture now? Are you? Really? Or is that just the marketing of your business you're referring to?</p> <p>And what about the fact that we can't compete as well internationally in business because our major competitors all have socialist (or communist) health care programs-removing that major expense from the bottom line? Wasn't it Toyota that built it's last factory in Canada because the health care cost in the U.S. would have made the factory unprofitable?</p> <p>So what is left? Most of what you suggest would barely make a dent in the problem. Where are the numbers to support what you say? As they say 'Show me the money.'</p>
08/14/2009 7:04:00 PM CDT
Donna Bennett says ...
<p>Thank you for taking a stand! I will be doing my shopping from now on at my local Whole Foods store.</p>
08/14/2009 7:07:00 PM CDT
pjean says ...
<p>Honest,reasonable and logical. I am sorry some have attacked you for the position would take on the issue of health care. There are many Americans today who are being demonized and labeled because although they don't like the bill on the table, their ideas of how to address this issue is much like yours. It's unfortunate that someone who has learned through his business experience, what solutions are encouraging employees to take ownership of their health care decisions, should be attacked for such perceptions.</p> <p>When I attend a townhall, I will keep in mind your sound solutions, along with other very reasonable ideas that encourage better health, personal freedom and less government intervention. I have an HSA myself and it has allowed me to make the same thoughtful decisions about my health and the health of my family. There is great support for you. Average, reasonable Americans have a lot in common. Some entities would rather we not get too friendly with one another or it will lessen their power over the American people.</p> <p>Blessings.</p>
08/14/2009 7:09:00 PM CDT
A very disappointed and now former shopper says ...
<p>Honestly, it blows me away that Mr. Mackey came out with an op-ed like this. Personal opinion is one thing, but does this man realize just exactly which kind of people shop at his stores?! This was a stupid and unnecessary move on his part. I am personally very offended by some of his comments on health care. I have loved whole foods for the past 5 years and shop there as often as possible, usually 2-3 times a month. I travel over 10 miles to get to WF, bypassing dozens of other supermarkets. I have been willing to pay the higher prices because I believed in the mission of WF. I was even a stockholder for a few years!</p> <p>Well my friends, this was a dealbreaker. There is a Trader Joe's and a Mrs Greenjeans much closer to me than WF. I will now be saving gas and traveling time, and shopping at these other chains.</p>
08/14/2009 7:13:00 PM CDT
Jason says ...
<p>Sorry, still not shopping at Whole Foods anymore.</p>
08/14/2009 7:15:00 PM CDT

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