Whole Foods, healthcare, and boycott

I find it fascinating to watch what happens when progressives discover what kind of a person the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, is. Because his stores sell organic and healthy products, people automatically assumed he was a progressive like themselves. However, Mackey is the worst of fanatical libertarians, though it was only with the recent Wall Street Journal OpEd he wrote that people discovered this for themselves.

In the OpEd, Mackey came out against anything but a free market healthcare system. He states, unequivocally, that in his opinion, healthcare is not a right.

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. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.

Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

I leave those in other countries to respond to what Mackey says about your countries, and focus on what he said about this country.

Mackey lists changes he believes will solve the healthcare problems, including removing items that insurance companies are mandated to provide, allowing cross-state insurance sales, as well as tort reform.

However, as articles, such as this excellent article on healthcare costs in the New Yorker detail, healthcare costs are not driven by malpractice lawsuits, or government mandated health care coverage. If anything, the only thing has kept some small control over the healthcare companies are the state laws that don’t allow them to arbitrarily cancel healthcare coverage for the sick, and those who need care—that demand a minimum of responsibility from these companies.

Healthcare in the US has become nothing more than an exercise in earning profits. Until it’s redefined to what it should be, the care of people, costs will continue to increase exponentially, until eventually only the wealthy will be able to afford truly decent health care. The free market fails when it comes to basic humanity.

According to Mackey, if you’re sick and you can’t afford healthcare, why you should just die. I don’t know about any of you, but I have no interest in giving a man like this the time of day, much less my money. I have disliked Whole Foods with a passion for many years, both because of Mackey’s attitude, and the fact that the company grossly overcharges for its goods. To Mackey, organic and healthy are green marketing, a way to make lots of money.

Now others are discovering the truth of Whole Foods and Mackey, and have started a boycotting campaign, though how well it will do, is anyone’s guess. People have to make choices if they want to live what they believe, and that includes choosing where they spend their money. I can do without the “progressive” whose beliefs are nothing more than Twitter tweets and social media bon mots, and who isn’t willing to put their buying choices behind their beliefs.

But this is an easy one for me, because I’ve been boycotting Whole Foods for years.

update Good Good OpEd piece on this discussion at the NY Times. There are a lot of folks saying, but he’s so environmentally helpful, and has led the green revolution, and so on. Well, I look at it this way: he’s been amply rewarded for this effort. From now on, any money I give the store is payment for his latest efforts, and they have been both anti-union and now anti-healthcare. Whole Foods is not the only game in town when it comes to the environment. Not anymore.

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