John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., is in the news promoting a conservative view for health care reform. He wrote a Wall Street Journal opinion article criticizing the proposed health care plan and hit a raw nerve in some people. Mackey believes there needs to be reform, but not government-controlled health care.
His recommendations are to equalize tax laws for health insurance benefits, repeal state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines, and repealing government mandates regarding who they must cover. He also would like to see tort reform to end the outlandish lawsuits forcing physicians to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance costs per year.
Mackey says, “Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.”
Health-promoting food comes from Dani’s garden.
“Unfortunately,” he says, “many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third is obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70 percent of all health-care spending-heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity-are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption, and other healthy lifestyle choices.”
Whole Foods, Inc. is an example of how good health care can be. They pay 100 percent of their employees premiums (not the deductibles) if they work 30 or more hours a week. That’s about 90 percent of its workers. In addition, they provide each employee $1,800 per year in “health-care dollars,” which can be used for health and wellness expenses.
Holy Cow, we all should have such a health care plan! Makes me want to work for them, just for their health coverage. I’m a capitalist at heart. My husband and I have been self-employed for years and know first-hand how much the current system needs to be reformed. I believe a vital component of health care should be preventative, wellness expenses, like the Whole Foods’ plan.
Health care reform is extremely important, although too many people want the government to make them well. Ultimately, Mackey is right. We must take control of our own health. No matter what the health coverage will be in the future…how much better not to even get sick in the first place. I don’t know what our health care reform will eventually look like, but it’s important that we make wise lifestyle health choices for ourselves.
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