Daily Kos, the shrill, radical blog, says that people who shop at Whole Foods are stupid. Russell Mokhiber, the founder of something called Single Payer Action, said on Fox last night that John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, is an “evil” person. Mokhiber’s group has organized a boycott of Whole Foods today.
John Mackey’s company is not only the largest purveyor of organic foods in the English-speaking world, he employs a large workforce, and in many cases even part-timers get health insurance through a health savings accounts system. Mackey is being boycotted and vilified because he wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that he is in favor of health care reform but that he doesn’t support the Obama approach (approach is a better word than plan because we don’t yet have the president’s plan). Here is an account of the brouhaha:
“In his article, Mackey writes, ‘the last thing the country needs is a complete government takeover of the health-care system’ that would ‘create hundreds of billions of dollars in new unfunded deficits.’ He proposes, instead, that government free health insurance companies to be more competitive, enact tort reform to end malpractice lawsuits, and revise tax laws to favor employer-provided insurance. … By midday Wednesday, the ”Boycott Whole Foods’ page on Facebook had more than 16,000 members. And there are more than 12,000 posts on Whole Foods’ own discussion forum ranging from ‘Bravo, Mr. Mackey!’ to ‘Mackey is an abomination!’”
Or just evil! I don’t know about you, but I’m getting sick and tired of decent folks being vilified by those who support government-run health care. Mr. Mackay, the worried and upset people who show up at town hall meetings, and doctors. I like my own doc, and he’s a far cry from the tonsil-snatching, foot-amputating monster our president portrays in speeches. Here are two doctors ( this and this) who don’t recognize themselves or their colleagues in the president’s portrayal of members of their profession. (Pay especial attention to the piece by Ronald Dworkin, an anesthesiologist, who points out that aspects of the proposals being considered now will cause increased deaths.)
Being healthy as a horse, I probably am not the best person to speak about insurance companies. But I’ll say nevertheless that I’ve never had complaints about my policies, and I think that these companies are being demonized, too. Here is an excellent piece, and here is some food for thought on health insurance (and speaking of food, don’t forget to buy that organic roaster today!):
“Facts are stubborn things, this White House is quick to remind us. And in this case, the facts don’t support the vilification.
“If insurance companies were gouging the public, the evidence would show up in one of two places, according to Graef Crystal, a compensation expert in Santa Rosa, California, and occasional Bloomberg News columnist: excessive executive pay or excessive returns to shareholders.
“His analysis of five major health insurers shows just the opposite: below-market pay and below-market shareholder returns.
“ ‘There’s no case here for undue enrichment of shareholders’ or over-compensating CEOs, Crystal finds.
“Health care needs a major overhaul, but that’s no reason to make scapegoats out of insurance companies.”