John Mackey's Healthcare Nonsense
The point that John Mackey and other harsh critics of Obamacare seem unable or unwilling to grasp is that pre-Obamacare, we did not have a market-based system. Even if you completely eliminated Medicare and Medicaid, the remainder was still not anything resembling a market-based system. The only way you can have a truly market-based healthcare system is to turn away anyone and everyone who arrives at the doors of an ER without adequate health insurance. Unless we as a society are willing to let people without sufficient health insurance die in the streets, the net effect is Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and all American corporations are getting a free ride on the backs of everyone who pays taxes and/or carries health insurance.
Obamacare is a tentative first step toward healthcare reform. It's what was politically possible at the time, and it is an improvement over what we had before. It will improve society-wide health and save some lives. It does not come anywhere close to adequately addressing our problem with exploding healthcare costs, but neither have any competing plans, to the extent that any serious ones have been offered. Shifting a major portion of costs onto the backs of an already-strapped middle class is not an acceptable "reform". I am sympathetic to many libertarian arguments, but because it directly involves human mortality, healthcare is uniquely ill-suited to a strict libertarian approach.
Fear of the unknown is easily exploited by those who profit from the status quo. It will likely prevent us from seriously addressing the cost of healthcare in America until we get right up against (or over) the baby boomer abyss. However, shouting that Obamacare is the problem, much less an example of fascism, is both factually wrong and a very unwise choice for the CEO of a company that does not sell exclusively to a conservative clientele. As a Whole foods customer and stockholder, I am dismayed and angry at Mackey's comments. I will be selling my WFM stock, and will look to shop at alternate retailers whenever possible. I hear my town will be getting a Trader Joe's soon.