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Health care part 3

Old 08-14-09, 09:21 AM
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Health care part 3

Continued from http://forum.dvdtalk.com/politics-wo...continues.html
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Old 08-14-09, 09:24 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

In before a prescription is required to post.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:12 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

It's not just fear mongering. Let's see what happens... when we run out of money?

California board votes to drop healthcare coverage for 60,000 children

As a result of state budget cuts, the Healthy Families program will have to begin terminating coverage for more than 60,000 children on Oct. 1. Nearly 670,000 children could be dropped by June 30.

Reporting from Sacramento - The announcement by state officials that California has enough cash to stop paying bills with IOUs did little to take the sting out of other budget news Thursday: Tens of thousands of poor children are about to lose their healthcare coverage.

A state board voted Thursday to begin terminating health insurance for more than 60,000 children Oct. 1 as a result of the budget amendments signed into law recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Those children would be up for an annual review of their coverage next month, but instead they may be dropped from the California Healthy Families program under the action by the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board.

The board is scrambling to secure funding from other sources, including money set aside by voters for early childhood education, but so far it has come up short.

If additional funds are not found, board officials said, the program could ultimately drop 669,296 children in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010. Currently, 921,000 people age 18 and younger are enrolled in Healthy Families.

"There are not sufficient funds for the services we are providing," said board chairman Cliff Allenby. "We will work to do what we can do" to find additional money.

The budget cuts made by Schwarzenegger and the Legislature left the Healthy Families program with a $194-million shortfall.

On Thursday, the First 5 California Commission, which administers tobacco-tax funds that voters directed toward early childhood education, agreed to provide $81.4 million for Healthy Families. That is enough to cover 200,000 children through next June, but not enough to stop the vote to begin removing youngsters from the program.

Several advocates for children urged the board to put off a decision and find other ways to compensate for the budget shortfall.

"Families are extremely confused and frightened about what is going to happen to their kids," said Suzie Shupe, executive director of California Children's Health Initiatives.

Clifford Sarkin, a senior policy associate with the Children's Defense Fund California, called the board's vote "devastating. . . . During these economic times, these families rely on the Healthy Families program more than ever."

Meanwhile, a coalition of advocates for the disabled announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against Schwarzenegger to force the restoration of millions of dollars he cut with line-item vetoes from programs that help the sick and disabled. A similar suit was filed this week by state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

Despite the money cut from the current budget, California will need to borrow $10.5 billion this year, according to state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang.

The borrowing would allow the state to pay all of its bills between late summer and next spring, a period when state accounts typically run short. The loan would be repaid when the usual flood of tax receipts arrives after April 15.

If approved by a state financial board later this month, the borrowing would allow California to stop issuing IOUS -- and begin paying existing ones -- by Sept. 4. Lockyer said a loan would "rid us of the financial hardship and stigma caused by IOUs."

The state controller's office began issuing the notes July 2, when its projections showed the state would not have enough cash to pay all of its bills.

The warrants went to vendors, local governments, students on financial aid, some welfare recipients and taxpayers who were due refunds. The state has issued 327,000 IOUs totaling $1.95 billion.

Officials had planned to wait until October to begin redeeming IOUs, but better cash projections than expected will allow that to start sooner.

Chiang said Thursday that the issuance of IOUS, for only the second time since the Great Depression, has been a "difficult, and frankly, shameful chapter in the state's history."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6580131.story
"Tis better to have been given coverage and lost it, than to have never had coverage at all?"

In case anyone is wondering.... that article is real. And it's from today's LA Times.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:39 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
It's not just fear mongering. Let's see what happens... when we run out of money?



"Tis better to have been given coverage and lost it, than to have never had coverage at all?"
Except that people get used to the thing they were given. It would be easier just to not give it to them in the first place.
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Old 08-14-09, 11:27 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

Some interesting analysis <a href = "http://www.themonkeycage.org/2009/08/scoring_truthfulness_in_the_he.html">at The Monkey Cage</a> on the truthfulness of health care plans/reform claims made by Democrats and Republicans. The verdict: "the claims of Republicans and opponents of health care are much more likely to be false than true."
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Old 08-14-09, 11:44 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

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Old 08-14-09, 11:50 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

How things have changed.. When she agreed with them she's a "fan of disruptors" but when she disagrees they are "un-american".

<embed src="http://blip.tv/play/hJNRgZilJgI%2Em4v" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="390" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed>

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Old 08-14-09, 11:50 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Some interesting analysis <a href = "http://www.themonkeycage.org/2009/08/scoring_truthfulness_in_the_he.html">at The Monkey Cage</a> on the truthfulness of health care plans/reform claims made by Democrats and Republicans. The verdict: "the claims of Republicans and opponents of health care are much more likely to be false than true."
Did you go through their list? It's a bit random as far as the included quotes. Also at least half the data is from the election, so it's McCain v Obama and Obama v Clinton - these are barely relevant.

They kinda drive up the false Republican statements by including Palin, Bachmann, and some other people I didn't recognize. But I guess since they include Biden it's a wash.

They also include things like "Teddy Roosevelt first proposed universal health coverage a century ago" as a truth from Obama - well sure it's factually true, it's also not about the healthcare plan. I don't see how those kinds of statements make Dems more 'trustworthy' on healthcare.

Where are the statements about doctors removing tonsils for profit, or how preventative care will save us money?

There are some pretty outlandish criticisms being made. If people would just be sensible (I know...) the false ones are pretty obvious. Government is always terrified to cut senior benefits and now they're gonna be put in front of death squads? It's unfortunate, since there are so many valid criticisms.
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Old 08-14-09, 11:54 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by Birrman54 View Post
Did you go through their list? It's a bit random as far as the included quotes.
I haven't had time. We've got two (TWO!) sheep contests this morning. I have priorities.
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Old 08-14-09, 11:55 AM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
I haven't had time. We've got two (TWO!) sheep contests this morning. I have priorities.
fair enough
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Old 08-14-09, 12:04 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...512242220.html

What to Do About Pre-existing Conditions
By JOHN H. COCHRANE

Even if you don't like the massive health-care package being considered in Congress, you have to admit that health insurance and health care in this country are not working well. There are two basic problems:

First, if you get sick and then lose your job or get divorced, you lose your health insurance. With a pre-existing condition, new insurance will be ruinously expensive, if you can get it at all. This, the central defect of American health insurance, explains why most Americans are happy with their current coverage yet also support reform.

Second, health care costs too much. Yes, we get better treatment, but the cost-cutting revolution that has swept through manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and airlines has not touched health care.

The problems are real, but the proposed remedy—even more government intervention—is counterproductive. A market-based, deregulation-focused reform is possible, and it will work.

Health care and insurance are service-oriented, retail businesses. There is only one way to reduce costs in such a business: intense competition for every customer. The idea that the federal government can reduce costs by negotiating harder or telling businesses what to do is a triumph of hope over centuries of experience.

Take the claim that centralized record-keeping can cut costs. In his July 22 press conference, President Barack Obama noted that a new doctor today might run a test again rather than ask for records of a previous result. That seems silly. But maybe it isn't. Maybe the test is cheap, the condition changes, the test can fail, and the cost of setting up an integrated record system between these two doctors isn't worth two tests a year.

The cost-cutting revolutions in other industries didn't settle questions like these with acts of Congress, expert commissions, armies of regulators, or via a "public option"—while leaving in place a system in which consumers have little choice, aren't spending their own money, and suppliers are protected from lower-cost competitors. That approach has never spurred efficiency, and for good reasons. Cost-cutting is painful. Even in Mr. Obama's trivial example, lab technicians and secretaries will lose their jobs to computer programs, and they will complain. Patients might have to get tests at inconvenient times and locations. They will do this when their money is at stake—what people will put up with from airlines for a few dollars is truly amazing—but they will never accept it from the government.

But what about pre-existing conditions?

A truly effective insurance policy would combine coverage for this year's expenses with the right to buy insurance in the future at a set price. Today, employer-based group coverage provides the former but, crucially, not the latter. A "guaranteed renewable" individual insurance contract is the simplest way to deliver both. Once you sign up, you can keep insurance for life, and your premiums do not rise if you get sicker. Term life insurance, for example, is fully guaranteed renewable. Individual health insurance is mostly so. And insurers are getting more creative. UnitedHealth now lets you buy the right to future insurance—insurance against developing a pre-existing condition.

These market solutions can be refined. Insurance policies could separate current insurance and the right to buy future insurance. Then, if you are temporarily covered by an employer, you could keep the pre-existing-condition protection.

Some insurers avoid their guaranteed-renewable obligations by assigning people to pools and raising rates as healthy people leave the pools. Health insurers, like life insurers, could write contracts that treat all of their customers equally.

The right to future insurance could be transferrable to another company, for example, if you move. You could have the right that your company will pay a lump sum, so that a new insurer will take you, with no change in your premiums. Better, this sum could be occasionally placed in a custodial account. If you got sick but had something like a health-savings account to pay high premiums, you could always get new insurance. Insurers would then compete for sick people too.

Innovations like these would catch on quickly in a vibrant, deregulated individual insurance market.

How do we know insurers will honor such contracts? What about the stories of insurers who drop customers when they get sick? A competitive market is the best consumer protection. A car insurer that doesn't pay claims quickly loses customers and goes out of business. And courts do still enforce contracts.

How do we get to a competitive market? The tax deduction for employer-provided group insurance, which has nearly destroyed the individual insurance market, is a central culprit. If we don't have the will to remove it, the deduction could be structured to enhance competition and the right to future insurance. We could restrict the tax deduction to individual, portable, long-term insurance and to the high-deductible plans that people choose with their own money.

More importantly, health care and insurance are overly protected and regulated businesses. We need to allow the same innovation, entry, and competition that has slashed costs elsewhere in our economy. For example, we need to remove regulations such as the ban on cross-state insurance. Think about it. What else aren't we allowed to purchase in another state?

The bills being considered in Congress address the pre-existing condition problem by forcing insurers to take everybody at the same price. It won't work. Insurers will still avoid sick people and treat them poorly once they come. Regulators will then detail exactly how every disease must be treated. Healthy people will pay too much, so we will need a stern mandate to keep them insured. And this step further reduces competition.

Private, competitive insurance markets are a superior way to solve the pre-existing-conditions problem, and the only hope to lower costs.

Mr. Cochrane is professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and author of "Health Status Insurance" (Cato, 2009).
He proposes a few things I hadn't considered to make health coverage more portable. I think most people agree that you should be able to purchase policies across state lines. I agree with the basic thought that health insurance benefits ought to be taxable - but I'd prefer accompanying income or payroll tax cuts to keep it revenue neutral.

We should also have more penalties for insurance companies that wrongfully deny coverage to a patient, or payment to a provider. The current system is not punitive enough.
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Old 08-14-09, 12:10 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by jdslater1
Quick question for those here who are against the plan. I have a nephew who has been diagnosed with Autism. He is about 2 years old. The NHS send a specialist around every 2 weeks or so. He gets help in his own house and more. They do not pay for this help.
If this happens in the US how would this been dealt with?
Would the parents have to have a private plan that just happened to include assistance of such a nature?
I don't know how often he would be seen, but he would be covered by various state and federal health care programs for children. The schools are soon getting involved as well (which I'm against) with a "birth to 3" program from the government.
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Old 08-14-09, 01:11 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I don't know how often he would be seen, but he would be covered by various state and federal health care programs for children
You mean programs like the one I posted in #3?
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Old 08-14-09, 04:16 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Dumb question, why is cross-state sales of insurance forbidden? I guess I don't get it because my company buys from one insurance company, but we have offices across the country. Is our corporate headquarters consider our "home state" and they have to buy insurance from someone in that state, and even though I'm half the country away, I'm considered part of the "home state" company?
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Old 08-14-09, 04:27 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
Dumb question, why is cross-state sales of insurance forbidden?
Good question, and I don't have the answer, but I hate it. When we moved to CA, we had to get a new plan under the same company. And we lost our maternity coverage in the process because their CA branch doesn't offer maternity.

This of course was on page 97 of the fat phonebook of terms they sent us, so when they said they were "moving us to the comparable plan in California" I assumed we would still be covered for the items that we were paying extra for. Apparently only the price was comparable, with far fewer benefits. Oops.

I too would like to know the reason for disallowing cross-state plans, as it is frequently put out there as a way to also reduce costs (in addition to the obvious benefits to the patient).

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Old 08-14-09, 04:33 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

I believe the excuse is federalism.
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Old 08-14-09, 05:19 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

I have mixed feelings about allowing cross-state sales of insurance. Allowing banks to operate in multiple states didn't exactly turn out great.
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Old 08-14-09, 05:37 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Originally Posted by orangecrush View Post
I have mixed feelings about allowing cross-state sales of insurance. Allowing banks to operate in multiple states didn't exactly turn out great.
Well, don't leave me hanging, what was the problem with that?

I realize that the banking and ins. industries have a lot more regulations, but there's tons of businesses that work across state lines.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:18 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

Birrman 54 posted------

John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO, lays out his plan for healthcare reform.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000...072865070.html


Quote:
With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

While we clearly need health-care reform, 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 move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees’ Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.

Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan’s costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.

• Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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.

At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.

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.

Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% 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.

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

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.

—Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.
Hell, that is the problem. We should have had Mr. Mackey in charge of the Obama plan. He is spot on, especially with the expansion of HSA's. The company I work for reduced premiums 30% since it was initiated. We havent had an increase in premiums in 5 years.

But those dumb Conservatives arent smart enough to see the greatness in Obamacare

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Old 08-14-09, 07:42 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

So when do Democrats start the "Boycott Whole Foods" campaign for daring to challenge the Emperor? Pushing Capitalism and personal responsibility .. this guy should obviously be laughed at and called a loon.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:47 PM
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Re: Health care part 3

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So when do Democrats start the "Boycott Whole Foods" campaign for daring to challenge the Emperor? Pushing Capitalism and personal responsibility .. this guy should obviously be laughed at and called a loon.
Oh they already have

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8322658&page=1


Health Care Stirs Up Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Customers Boycott Organic Grocery Store
Branding Experts Say CEOs Should Stay Quiet When It Comes to Politics
By EMILY FRIEDMAN
Aug. 14, 2009 —


Joshua has been taking the bus to his local Whole Foods in New York City every five days for the past two years. This week, he said he'll go elsewhere to fulfill his fresh vegetable and organic produce needs.

"I will never shop there again," vowed Joshua, a 45-year-old blogger, who asked that his last name not be published.

Like many of his fellow health food fanatics, Joshua said he will no longer patronize the store after learning about Whole Foods Market Inc.'s CEO John Mackey's views on health care reform, which were made public this week in an op-ed piece he wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

Michael Lent, another Whole Foods enthusiast in Long Beach, Calif., told ABCNews.com that he, too, will turn to other organic groceries for his weekly shopping list.

"I'm boycotting [Whole Foods] because all Americans need health care," said Lent, 33, who used to visit his local Whole Foods "several times a week."

"While Mackey is worried about health care and stimulus spending, he doesn't seem too worried about expensive wars and tax breaks for the wealthy and big businesses such as his own that contribute to the deficit," said Lent.

In his op-ed, "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare," published Tuesday, Mackey criticized President Barack Obama's health care plan.

Mackey provided eight "reforms" he argued the U.S. can do to improve health care without increasing the deficit. He suggested that tax forms be revised to "make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance."

Mackey also called for a move toward "less government control and more individual empowerment" instead of "a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits."

He added that many of the country's health care problems are "self-inflicted" and are preventable through "proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices."

In the op-ed, Mackey outlines Whole Foods' employee health insurance policy. According to Mackey, Whole Foods pays 100 percent of the premiums for all employees who work 30 hours or more per week -- about 89 percent of his workforce.

Additionally, the company gives each employee $1,800 per year in "health-care dollars," says Mackey, that they can use at their own discretion for health and wellness expenses. This money can be put toward the $2,500 annual deductible that must be covered before Mackey says the company's "insurance plan kicks in."


Whole Foods Shoppers Weigh In
The op-ed piece, which begins with a Margaret Thatcher quote, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money," has left some Whole Foods loyalists enraged. Many say Mackey was out of line to opine against the liberal base that has made his fortune possible.

Christine Taylor, a 34-year-old New Jersey shopper, vowed never to step foot in another Whole Foods again.

"I will no longer be shopping at Whole Foods," Taylor told ABCNews.com. "I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients."

Countless Whole Foods shoppers have taken their gripes with Mackey's op-ed to the Internet, where people on the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are calling for a boycott of the store.

A commenter on the Whole Foods forum, identified only by his handle, "PracticePreach," wrote, "It is an absolute slap in the face to the millions of progressive-minded consumers that have made [Whole Foods] what it is today."

"You should know who butters your hearth-baked bread, John," wrote the commenter. "Last time I checked it wasn't the insurance industry conservatives who made you a millionaire a hundred times over."

While Mackey reduced his annual salary to one dollar in 2007, after explaining to employees he was "no longer interested in working for money," Mackey is still the head of the 10th largest food and drug store in the U.S.

Whole Foods Market Inc. reported that sales for the last quarter rose by 2 percent to $1.878 billion. It is consistently ranked a Fortune 500 company.


And not all Whole Foods customers were upset by Mackey's op-ed.

Many posted online that they agreed with his message and would try to shop at the chain more often.

Frank Federer wrote ABCNews.com, expressing fatigue with the knee-jerk reaction of other shoppers.

"You can count me as one vote FOR Whole Foods' CEO," wrote Federer. "At a time when most folks are more inclined toward rancor than discussion of facts, I applaud John Mackey."

Despite his financial success, this is not the first time Mackey has become fodder for criticism. In 2007, it was discovered that Mackey had been using a pseudonym to post blogs lambasting Whole Foods' competitor, Wild Oats Market, and questioning the worth of the company's stock.

The postings were made public when Mackey announced his desire to buy Wild Oats Market, and a lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission over concerns that the purchase would violate antitrust laws.

The FTC eventually let the sale go through, provided that Mackey sold 31 of the Wild Oats stores, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had launched an investigation into the online postings, did not press charges.

Libba Letton, a Whole Foods spokeswoman, told ABCNews.com that Mackey was unavailable for an interview and said that the op-ed "stands on its own." Letton offered no further comment regarding customers' threats to boycott the store.


When a CEO Speaks Out...
According to Robert Passikoff, the founder of Brand Keys, a N.Y.-based consulting firm, what a CEO says or does can often have a direct impact on consumers' pocketbooks.

"You can have a tremendous effect as a CEO, but it's a double-edge sword in that you'll have people who will support your position and feel better about your brand because of what you say," said Passikoff. "But equally so, you'll have people who think you're crazy and because they can't take it out on you, the CEO, they'll take it out on the company."

It is the risk of losing customers, said Passikoff, which more often than not leads CEOs to keep their mouths shut, at least when it comes to polarizing issues such as health care.

Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza who was outspoken in the pro-life movement, ostracized many of his consumers who weren't sure how much of the money he earned making pizza was then going to support the pro-life movement.

Lynn Upshaw, a brand marketing consultant at Upshaw Brand Consulting in Kentfield, Calif., said that more often it is the actions of an entire company, and not just of a CEO, that lead to boycotting by consumers.

For example, Upshaw remembers when, in the late 1970s, Nestle angered consumers with a baby formula product it claimed to be a healthy alternative to breast-feeding.

"It's relatively unusual for a CEO to be as outspoken as Mackey has been," said Upshaw. "Because any time you weigh in to something political, you're bound to have loyal customers who will question [your] point of view, and that can have a very negative effect."

Upshaw added that Mackey's op-ed may have done more harm than might be typical because of the unique makeup of his clientele.

"You have more activist consumers going to Whole Foods than other stores," said Upshaw. "They're not just simply expressing an opinion, they do something about it.

"These are people who have already gone out of the way to find a place that is more expensive to buy certain types of food," he said. "So in theory, they might be more willing to take the action to go somewhere else if they don't agree with Mackey."


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As usual, they cant win the battle of ideas so they attack the person. Got to shut down the resistance.

Last edited by BKenn01; 08-14-09 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:04 PM
  #22  
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Re: Health care part 3

I remember the left outrage when I think it was the Spice Girls who verbally attacked Bush got boycotted by certain radio stations and wouldn't play their music.. but these same folks think it's just dandy to boycott a store who's CEO dared to put forth an opposing suggestion for solving a problem. What a country.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:08 PM
  #23  
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Re: Health care part 3

Don't you mean the Dixie Chicks? It's funny how only a few years ago celebs were winning Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars for bashing the president, now you get blacklisted.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:57 PM
  #24  
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Re: Health care part 3

Auto insurance is sold across state lines is it not? Life insurance too.
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Old 08-14-09, 09:16 PM
  #25  
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Re: Health care part 3

The bills being considered in Congress address the pre-existing condition problem by forcing insurers to take everybody at the same price.
Excellent! Guaranteed issue and imposing restrictions on community ratings have done wonders for health insurance costs in Maine.
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