John Mackey, I Could Hug You

(I won’t go as far as kiss you, though. My lips are reserved for my wife and maybe a deserving relative.)

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods – a store I adore when I can afford it – had a recent op-ed in the WSJ. Aside from his awesome eight suggestions, the man GETS IT:

Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. 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?

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.

Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor’s Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million.

[bolded for emphasis]

Thank goodness someone had the celery to state the obvious. Now if only our politicos would pay attention…

And as an aside, in case people wondered where I actually stood on this issue – I leave you with Mackey’s final paragraph, which I totally agree with 100%:

Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

Chew on that, Mr. Obama. And pass the veggie dip.


6 thoughts on “John Mackey, I Could Hug You

  1. With insurance rates increasing much, much faster than the rate of inflation, what is to be done with people who cannot get jobs with insurance to pay for all of the high cost of modern medicine? Are we supposed to go “oh well”, keel over, and die in a sight ripped out of the most pessimistic of William Gibson’s novels? What about the likes of me, who, being completely outside the loop of medicine, is now loaded down with so many small “pre-exisiting conditions” that to insure me would require no less than 70% of my paycheck. Change needs to be made, either by a universal health care system or REAL reform and watch-dogging of a bloated and cruel insurance system.

    1.8 million people waiting in Britain.
    40 million waiting here.

  2. That 40 million number? Includes college students (who most likely don’t have coverage because they don’t work FT to qualify and are too old to be on their parent’s plan), kids (yeah, exactly – kids who don’t work and thus, can’t “afford” care), and those who voluntarily opt to forgo coverage so they can have more money in their paycheck (like me) because salary rates in the US suck. It’s an inflated number bandied about to ‘scare’ people; note it’s toted around as if there are 40 million adults in the US who don’t have health coverage and OMGINEEDITNOW!

    Costs are heavily out of balance mostly due to skyrocketing malpractice insurance, which the doctors have no choice but to pass on to their patients. Better tort reform will most assuredly cause a major spike (in the opposite direction) in health coverage costs. Why can’t we fix the few broken things, rather than just apply a blanket “gub’mint fixit” plan? Because we are, at heart, a nation of people who’d rather have the government solve all our problems for us, rather than *figuring it out ourselves*, that’s why.

    Want an example of what government-dependance will do? Look at most Reservations. Government-run, government-provided…and most of the poorest places in the USA.

  3. I will agree with Ben. Have you EVER really been on most Reservations? Why doesn’t the government have a car insurance plan?

    And all 6 of my children were birthed by my family doctor of nearly 20 years. He decided he had to quit birthing babies because his malpractice insurance was too high for OBGYN and would make it too expensive to pass on. So my children are nearly the last kids he could ever “afford” to deliver. Can you imagine deciding that you had to quit delivering children after 20+ years because your insurance premiums? Especially for a doctor that went into medicine to help people? Sadly I forsee a near future where street docs are a real possiblity to avoid the regulations of our government. Fix the inflated costs, the unrealistic lawsuits and production line billing. What point did health care become big business to line the pockets of corporations and investors to change from caring for your fellow man.

  4. One supposes that if you’ve seen one or two reservations you’ve seen them all. “Do you have a reservation, sir?”
    “Why yes I do, but it’s a long way from here and I’d rather stay in the hotel.”

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