Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Since when do honest Americans, as a society, organize to punish fellow Americans for exercising their freedom of speech?

Ridicule? Perhaps. Lambast? Of course.

Yet, today, there is a well-organized boycott occurring against a company whose CEO had the temerity to write an op-ed offering an alternative to nationalizing the health care of the United States and, since this countermands the agenda of the far Left, they are fuming.

Several weeks ago, John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal offering alternatives to what is being labeled as "Obamacare." [See below for Mackey's alternatives.]

Since that time, ultra-left bloggers and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have mounted a boycott of Whole Foods.

However, there is a counter movement emerging to wage a "buy-cott" to support Whole Foods.

If you support the Right to Free Speech, you are strongly encouraged to take a few minutes and spend a few dollars at your local Whole Foods. [Store Locator here]

This buy-cott is today, September 1st.

Regardless of whether you are a frequent shopper of Whole Foods products or not, spending some dollars in support of Free Speech is easy.

Here are excerpts from Mackey's Wall Street Journal op-ed:

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." —Margaret Thatcher

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Equalize the tax laws so 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7.  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.

  8. 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.


[Disclaimer: This post is written from purely an American point of view. Dienekes is not a customer of Whole Foods, nor affiliated in any way.]

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