4,664 Comments

Comments

Ralph Barnes says ...
<p>As dedicated Whole Foods customers for many years, we would like to personally thank John Mackey for his courage in standing up as an American citizen to say what he feels about a subject that's going to affect all of us for years to come. My wife and I have spent many thousands of dollars with Whole Foods through the years, and when we see someone whose supposed to go along with the hackneyed cliches and politically correct program actually have the courage to speak his mind, we're impressed and relieved. Thank you, John Mackey. My wife and I hope to see you at Whole Foods Buckhead, soon, and shake your hand.<br> Ralph Barnes<br> Atlanta, Ga.</p>
08/14/2009 8:25:00 PM CDT
Jessica says ...
<p>Wow'¦.you're unbelievable. You've just lost me as a customer and my entire my family. I'll be going to Sprouts here in Dallas now. </p> <p>Do you even know who your loyal customers really are???? Obviously not.</p>
08/14/2009 8:25:00 PM CDT
pjean says ...
<p>Only in America would a people politicize a supermarket. Did our parents and grandparents do this kind of stuff. It's shameful that some people are so nasty, but as the saying goes, 'When one door closes, another opens'.</p>
08/14/2009 8:25:00 PM CDT
Gordon says ...
<p>I will miss shopping at Whole Foods, but I will not watch my hard earned money be used to support this sort of far right-wing crap. At least your customers (or former customers) finally can see what kind of person is behind this company.</p>
08/14/2009 8:27:00 PM CDT
Celeste A. Kostyniuk says ...
<p>Thank you, Mr. Mackey, for speaking out against Obama's health care takeover. Don't worry about the people who are threatening boycotts ' there are tons of us who agree with you and will continue shopping at Whole Foods (by the way, your Vegan Chocolate Mousse is out of this world!). Keep up the good work and thanks again for speaking out in a big way.</p>
08/14/2009 8:28:00 PM CDT
sandra robles says ...
<p>You, sir, have gained a new customer. I have never really shopped at whole foods but will now make an effort to increase my traffic. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and say NO to the thugs in Washington. You have set a fine example for all Americans afraid to stand up and speak. Thank you. God bless.</p>
08/14/2009 8:29:00 PM CDT
Eric says ...
<p>I find that your article is short sighted when you encourage deregulation of the industry. When my wife was employed full time and received a very nice health care plan, we felt forced to continue paying for her individual policy that she had had since college. Since she had a pre-existing condition (Lupus) we were certain that if she left her new job she would not receive coverage again. While I agree with some of your points (tort reform in particular), I feel like we need to remove most of the profit motive from the insurance system since it has clearly been abused for so long.</p>
08/14/2009 8:30:00 PM CDT
Allen Cummings says ...
<p>Dear CEO Mackey:</p> <p>You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. I did not know what kind of a person I was supporting with my shopping dollars, but you have now shown me I am shopping at the wrong store. </p> <p>I have read both your WSJ Article and now your blog. I must confess I was surprised to learn that I was supporting a person and, apparently, a company whole ideals are so much at odds with what I believe. It is easy for you, a weathly man to call Obama's health care plan Socialism, but many seniors, the military and all federal employees have access to 'socialism' health care. I know that the loss of my family's business will not cause you any financial pain, as rich as you are, but in good conscience I cannot and will not shop at a store that benefits a many with views such as yours. I used to associate Whole Foods with healthy, but now I understand its all about money for you ' those without health care be damned. As a small business man, when I first started out my largest expense was health coverage that did not cover anything until I had spent $5,000 each year, but still cost me $800/ month for my wife and I. Therefore, each year, before I had any health care coverage, I had to spend $14,600. Try starting a small business with that hanging over your head. But then, you are rich and nearly $15,000 is nothing to you. Thank you for letting me know just what you stand for so that I can vote with my dollars and spend them at another store.</p>
08/14/2009 8:30:00 PM CDT
Bill Cooke says ...
<p>Thank you for speaking out on this issue. I find myself in general agreement with you. I wish that you would speak out more. I wish you would run for office. We need a progressive libertarian in the White House, instead of the authoritarians we have had in recent years.</p>
08/14/2009 8:32:00 PM CDT
Patty K says ...
<p>Sorry if this is too lengthy, but, I'd like to briefly address your 8 points:</p> <p>1) High Deductible/HSA's ' Neither of these does anything to lower the rising cost of premiums. People have a hard enough time saving for a home, car, education, retirement, etc. which I guess could be, but, shouldn't be considered a luxury, however, saving for an unknown illness, I don't think that's even a viable option for most people.</p> <p>2) Tax Benefits- This also does nothing to prevent the sky rocketing cost of premiums. So what if it's deductible, that's just more incentive to up the cost &amp; we all pay in the end anyway.</p> <p>3) Repeal State Laws ' Insurance companies must be licensed in each state that they write business in. The state insurance department regulates &amp; audits them, therefore, there is consumer protection &amp; they can assist with any complaints. Companies are also assessed annually based on the premium they collect &amp; pay into the states Guaranty Fund. In the event that they go bankrupt, the benefits of their claimants will be honored. Check with any state insurance department or do a google search, you may be shocked to find just how much insurance companies pay in fines, millions. Even more is spent on their CEO's, legal teams, marketing, &amp; oh, their medical director &amp; team of death panelists. Does it occur to anyone where all the money that insurance companies spend comes from?</p> <p>4) Government Mandates ' Just what are the current government mandates'¦mammograms, chiropractors, physician assistants, midwives, etc'¦I don't see how this ties into more costs than would be otherwise undertaken. </p> <p>5) Tort Reform ' This is a tremendous myth, perpetrated on a misinformed public because apparently, it works. Studies have proven that these costs are minuscule in the whole scheme of things. I don't know what you'd consider 'ruinous lawsuits' however, it is difficult at best to even file a malpractice suit, with the up front costs &amp; getting a provider to admit that one of their own is responsible for anything is next to impossible. I think that if you were truly victim of malpractice you wouldn't think twice about seeking compensation. There are some extremely questionable providers out there with complaint after complaint &amp; well, just aren't qualified to practice. How about the AMA &amp; nursing boards reigning them in instead of letting them go with a slap on the wrist. Simply put, malpractice premiums are high because of supply &amp; demand'¦Those with the supply can demand what they want.</p> <p>6) Health Care Costs Transparency- Please forgive me for not quite understanding this point. I certainly know what my last doctor visit cost &amp; haven't had any problems when requesting this information. </p> <p>7) Enact Medicare Reform ' Not sure what you mean by 'patient empowerment and responsibility' or how this reforms Medicare. Stop raiding the social security trust, that's a start.</p> <p> <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_cool.gif" alt="8)" class="wp-smiley"> Voluntary Tax Donation ' hmmm, see #1'¦ While it's certainly a noble effort, it's not very viable &amp; still does not do anything to address the escalation of premiums.</p> <p>I have been in the insurance industry for over 30 years &amp; have seen many changes. An awful lot of time &amp; money is spent on getting out of benefit payments. They are after all, not only in the healthcare business, but, in business for profit. When they make bad investments, need another lobbyist, a new plane, another fancy high rise, whatever, the loss has to be shifted somewhere, unfortunately, it's all too often at our expense, in high premiums, denial of benefits &amp; recision of coverage. </p> <p>Considering that I am employed with a large insurer, one might think that I have exceptional health coverage, but, the fact is I passed on the sub standard policy that was offered &amp; chose to be covered under my husband's policy even though his isn't that great either.</p> <p>Be open minded, do not believe the talking heads that are only doing the bidding of their corporate masters. Do you honestly believe that they are looking out for YOUR best interests? Do your own research, the more FACTS that you know, the better you are to make an actual informed decision. Before you get hoodwinked by the 'Socialism' buzz word, please know that if you ever went to a public school, used a public library, swam in a public pool, had a picnic in a public park, used public transportation, drank or used public water, hunted or fished on public land, care about clean air, clean water, food safety, had to call 911, or the police or fire department, then know that these all fit into the scary 'Socialism' category. </p> <p>There are no easy answers, however, there must be an honest civilized dialogue &amp; desire to see real change that affects real people. There should not be a profit at the expense of sickness. Too many of us are only one sickness away from bankruptcy. We cannot wait until it happens to us before we can feel the real pain of others.</p> <p>One last point'¦I drive to Whole Foods on a public road!</p>
08/14/2009 8:35:00 PM CDT
Daniel Leyva says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey;</p> <p>While I welcome your invitation to continue the debate on health care in a civil maner, as our comander in chief has invited us to do, I would like to tell you that I have been a loyal costumer of your W 24th street store in Manhattan until yesterday, but no longer or ever again. The main reason for my anger about your op-ed was not the title but the content, which uses a quote of Margaret Tatcher that is out of date and offensive. Your sugestions for a health care reform are not better than the ones currently proposed by our government, but actually much worse. I have made a vow never to set food in your business and I will continue suporting the boycott, because I don't thing your views are contributing to a more civil discussion on health care, I found them -to the contrary- misleading to people trying to understand what this debate is all about. I hope this oportunity allow for more healthy food oriented business to flourish in New York City.</p>
08/14/2009 8:35:00 PM CDT
Ralph Dosser says ...
<p>From now on it's Vitamin Cottage, Safeway, King Soopers ' not one more dime for Whole Foods.</p> <p>''¦ 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>The last thing I need to do is spend my money at a store that promotes this kind of idiocy, and then tries to weasel out of it.</p> <p>I'm guessing Mr. Mackey has excellent health insurance and/or enough money to provide his family with everything they need. I doubt all of his employees can say the same ' I know I can't.</p>
08/14/2009 8:37:00 PM CDT
james says ...
<p>Whole Foods will no longer receive my services. Good fortunes for Trader Joe's.</p> <p>Too bad, I really liked the place.</p>
08/14/2009 8:38:00 PM CDT
Monica Schmitz says ...
<p>Thank you for speaking out on this issue. I have only been to your store a few times, but now I plan on becoming a regular and will drive out of my way to do so. I will be heading to our local Whole Foods to pick up supplies for my husbands hiking trip. Keep on fighting for what is right.</p>
08/14/2009 8:38:00 PM CDT
holly says ...
<p>I will vote with my dollars and no longer shop at whole foods. I have other choices and am happy that you have clarified your position on health care reform. I don't find your ideas particularly repulsive just non-progressive. I prefer to support those with ideas more in line with mine and the organic farmers who supply my food.</p>
08/14/2009 8:39:00 PM CDT
G says ...
<p>I am proud to work for a company where a CEO stands up for what he believes in. Way to go John!</p>
08/14/2009 8:40:00 PM CDT
mark says ...
<p>John Mackey cannot possibly believe that his views on health care are compatible with green or any sense of social responsibility. Rather my family and I feel that as a loyal customers of both Whole Foods and Wild Oats we have just discovered that our local green market was really bought out by Rupert Murdoch, and John Mackey installed as Whole Food's version of Roger Ayles. </p> <p>Fortunately Long Beach also has Bristol Farms to serve our family of five. Shame on Whole Foods management for the phony social responsibility that Mr. Mackey's cynical WSJ comments bring clearly into focus.</p>
08/14/2009 8:40:00 PM CDT
Lynn Starun says ...
<p>Mr Mackey,<br> I was so surprised to hear your position on health care. I disagree with you and am shocked to find that the CEO of the company I give so many of my grocery dollars to is joining the fight against true health care reform. Shame on you. I will be taking my shopping dollars elsewhere, perhaps Trader Joe.<br> Lynn in Summit, NJ</p>
08/14/2009 8:40:00 PM CDT
John says ...
<p>I was going to go shopping at your Fairfax/West Hollywood location tonight. Now I'll go to Ralph's and Trader Joe's instead. </p> <p>If you want to inject yourself into an already dishonest debate, you can do it with someone else's money. </p> <p>On a human level, you really should be ashamed of yourself. Either you really believe the nonsense you wrote, which is ethically bankrupt and intellectually weak, or you are purposefully lying to persuade the easily swayed. Either is pretty sad. </p> <p>If you don't have the self-awareness to be ashamed of yourself, I will be ashamed of you for you. I'll be ashamed of you the whole time I am shopping at Ralph's. </p> <p>An Ex Customer.</p>
08/14/2009 8:42:00 PM CDT
Joe says ...
<p>I agree with your discussion about the relationship between diet and health'the part that was mostly deleted by the WSJ.</p> <p>I am more familiar than most people with HSA plans and I can agree that a properly designed HSA/High Deductible Health Plan (where the employer funds the insurance as well as well as a large portion of the HSA account)can control medical costs and increase employee satsifaction. Unfortunately most employers respond to this environment by contributing little or nothing to the HSA account. The concept can work in theory but in practice for many employees is a disaster.</p> <p>The rest of your article is right wing garbage'I don't necessarily agree with a large part of what the house and senate have already passed, and I agree we need to find a way to get to universal coverage at a lower cost than then the CBO projections. But regurgitated right wing talking points that will make the situation worse are not an answer.</p> <p>What I find most amazing is that you would publish this position knowing that a majority of your consumers tend to be liberal and are likely to support a government run plan or even a single payer system. By taking such a hard right 'reactionary' position to the healthcare debate, you have effectively blown off a number of your best customers. For that you should be fired.</p>
08/14/2009 8:43:00 PM CDT
Hannah N. says ...
<p>If you don't speak for your company, then why put 'CEO of WholeFoods' in the Byline?</p>
08/14/2009 8:43:00 PM CDT
JK says ...
<p>As an individual you certainly have the right to speak your mind. As the president of a company you must also know that giving your opinion will also have an impact on your business. </p> <p>Your support of big insurance companies clearly identifies your view of how you think our country should be run and it couldn't be any more different from my view. I've worked at the same company for over 20 years and each and every year my premiums have increased more than 20%.</p> <p>My hard earned money will, unfortunately, continue to be spent paying my insurance premiums. It will no longer be spent purchasing items in your store. I have been a weekly customer of the store for many years but that ends now.</p>
08/14/2009 8:45:00 PM CDT
Meg says ...
<p>Thank you for your article. I think that in order to have true health care reform, we need to hear many ideas and debate our options. I personally agree with many of the ideas you listed and I look forward to hearing what else can be done to improve health care in America. This is certainly a sensitive issue and we will never find a one size fits all approach to it. However, when we shut down all sides of the agrument, we will never find a compromise.</p>
08/14/2009 8:47:00 PM CDT
Linda says ...
<p>Mr. Mackay,<br> Kudos. Now if I had a Whole Foods near me I certainly would be shopping there. As a matter of fact, all of my friends would also. I live 20 miles south of Albany NY; When are you coming here? We've waited so long!</p>
08/14/2009 8:47:00 PM CDT
Wendy says ...
<p>Thank you for a thoughtful and intelligent take on the healthcare issue.</p> <p>I am a Whole Foods customer (and I travel 45 minutes for the privilege!) and will continue, proudly, to be one. I am also a conservative who is disgusted with the changes being forced on our country.</p> <p>Keep the faith!</p>
08/14/2009 8:47:00 PM CDT

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