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The Conscience of a Capitalist (interview of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on health care)
Wall Street Journal ^ | October 3, 2009 | Stephen Moore

Posted on 10/03/2009 5:12:42 AM PDT by reaganaut1


What Mr. Mackey is proposing is more or less what he has already implemented at his company—a plan that would allow more health savings accounts (HSAs), more low-premium, high-deductible plans, more incentives for wellness, and medical malpractice reform. None of these initiatives are in any of the Democratic bills winding their way through Congress. In fact, the Democrats want to kill HSAs and high-deductible plans and mandate coverage options that would inflate health insurance costs.

The Whole Foods health-care story has been largely ignored by proponents of a government-run system. But it could be a template for those in Washington who want to drive down costs and insure the uninsured.

Mr. Mackey says that combining "our high deductible plan (patients pay for the first $2,500 of medical expenses) with personal wellness accounts or health savings accounts works extremely well for us." He estimates the plan's premiums plus other costs at $2,100 per employee, and about $7,000 for a family. This is about half what other companies typically pay. "And," he is quick to add, "we do cover pre-existing conditions after one year of service."

Whole Foods also puts several hundred dollars into a health savings account for each worker.This money can be used to cover routine medical expenses, like drug purchases or antismoking programs. If that money is not used in a year, the workers can save the money to pay for expenses in later years.

This type of plan does not excite proponents of a single-payer system, who think that individuals can't make wise health-care choices, and that this type of system is "antiwellness" because it discourages spending on preventive care.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: capitalism; mackey; stephenmoore; wholefoods

1 posted on 10/03/2009 5:12:42 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Go with a working, successful plan which minimizes cost and maximizes benefits? Quelle horror!

Economic wunderkind moron needs to have oodles of jobs for the SEIU and Acorn ‘consultants’ to bring on board.

2 posted on 10/03/2009 5:18:36 AM PDT by FreeStateYank (I want my country and constitution back, now!)
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To: reaganaut1

I really hate the word “Capitalist”. Capitalism and Capitalist are words invented by Karl Marx to demonize the Free Enterprise System.
I like Entrepreneurism or Free Enterprisism or Free Enterprisist or maybe just Freeper.

3 posted on 10/03/2009 5:26:15 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (
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To: reaganaut1
This guy hits the nail on the head for health care reform. High deductible Health Savings Accounts put market forces back in play in the health care industry.

The Federal Government can make it happen in only a few pages of legislation. Get rid of the tax advantage for current plans, and give tax advantages to HSAs. Businesses will flock to HSAs for their employees, and everyone will benefit.

4 posted on 10/03/2009 5:26:27 AM PDT by Toskrin
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To: FreeStateYank
Go with a working, successful plan which minimizes cost and maximizes benefits?

This plan only minimizes cost for Whole Foods by minimizing employee benefits.

It does absolutely nothing to reduce the actual price of health care, as charged by the health care industry.

5 posted on 10/03/2009 5:27:39 AM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: BuffaloJack

That’s probably true, but we should just embrace the term. Malcolm Forbes named his jet “Capitalist Tool.”

6 posted on 10/03/2009 6:13:19 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: reaganaut1

Wow - this guy gets it. I think I will take my wife to a Whole Foods store today in his honor (I’ve never been, but the wife will love it, I’m sure).

7 posted on 10/03/2009 8:01:14 AM PDT by ghost of nixon
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To: reaganaut1
"Well, the unions have had an adversarial relationship with us," he replies. "I don't think all the protests are strictly union-based, but I do think the unions have contributed to that. I think they've piled on and in some cases are orchestrating some of it." He says he can't divulge private information about whether the boycott hurt sales, but the stock hasn't taken any hit.

"I sometimes think that unions don't understand that we live in a free society and people have the right to not select union representation if they don't want it. I oftentimes hear things like 'Whole Foods is preventing people from unionizing,' which is a lie. That's illegal. We can't prevent anyone from unionizing," Mr. Mackey says.

So why aren't they choosing it? "Because it's not in their best interest," he insists. "We have better benefits and higher pay" than Whole Foods' unionized competitors. "We wish the unions would respect people's right to not have a union." Do they keep agitating? "Yeah, they do."

8 posted on 10/03/2009 2:22:14 PM PDT by GVnana (Sarah for America)
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To: Willie Green

Not according to Mackey. See post #8.

9 posted on 10/03/2009 2:23:23 PM PDT by GVnana (Sarah for America)
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To: socialismisinsidious

Socialized Medicine aka Universal Health Care daily digest PING LIST

FReepmail me if you want to be added to or removed from this daily digest ping list (one ping per day of links to pertinent articles).

10 posted on 10/03/2009 5:11:07 PM PDT by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: GVnana
Not according to Mackey. See post #8.

Red herring.
Mackey compares his plan to that of unnamed and unspecified "competitors".
His claim may or may not be true. Who knows?
There's no way to check his "facts" for actual comparison.

What is actually needed is a comparison of his new plan to the old plan that was previously offered to Whole Food employees.

It is very easy to envision Whole Food employess having to sit through a dog and pony show where Whole Food executives hyped the new benefits package while silently praying that the employees wouldn't gripe about how they were actually getting screwed with an overall reduction in compensation for their work.

That's the typical modus operandi for the higher-ups on the corporate ladder.
$hit rolls downhill, dude.
It's a universal practice in the corporate world.
Mackey's song and dance doesn't change that, unless you're gullible enough to believe it.

11 posted on 10/04/2009 8:02:03 AM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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