Friday, August 14, 2009

CEO Speaks - (Some) Customers Howl

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, an organic food chain, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about what kind of health care reform he would enact. It is one of the most sensible proposals I have seen. One that doesn't take 1,018 pages. Things include (with my commentary):

- Allowing individual insurance policies to be pre-tax: this is probably one problem on an individual level that needs to be changed, so people can carry their policies without any issue of employment.

- Eliminating state-by-state regulations: Mackey means that there should be interstate policies. I am guessing that he says there should be one national standard, rather than different policies from state to state. Again, this would allow people to carry their policies wherever without concern for employment

- Eliminate government regulations on what must be covered: acupuncture, chiropractors, herbal treatments, plastic surgery, abortions and so forth are required to be covered in a lot of states. That's ridiculous. Anything that is considered 'elective' should not be required in any way, shape or form, and therefore paid out of pocket - excepting reconstructive plastic surgery.

- Tort reform: probably the farthest reaching point, one that affects everything - cost to doctors, cost to health plans, and cost to patients. Too bad because as long as trial lawyers are a key Democratic constituency, it will never happen in any meaningful sense.

- Allow voluntary donations for Medicaid and S-CHIP: Americans are among the most charitable people in the world, and so I agree with this point, that as long as we know the money is going to those funds, it is a good idea. Knowing the bureaucracy, I doubt it, though.

Not everyone is happy about this. ABC News has a story about people wanting to boycott Whole Foods because Mackey isn't on board with the current House bill. That is their right to do so, but the story also says that it is causing some people against the bill to consider shopping at Whole Foods. An interesting development indeed.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Well, no matter how good this plan is... you won't catch me shopping at a Whole Foods store regardless of political ideas.