whole-foods.jpgFresh Living is, as you know, a holistic health blog.  But we’ve–so far–refrained from a single post about the biggest health-related issue before the chattering class: health care reform. 

There are reasons for that, including our desire to focus more on our–and your–lives and the healthy choices we can make, as opposed to the public policy choices that, despite our democratic process, are made for us by everyone from the government to our employers.

But I did read with interest Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey’s op-ed piece this week in the Wall Street Journal, in which he made a case against President Obama’s health care reform proposal–and for which Mackey is garnering much criticism and calls for boycotts of Whole Foods stores.

On one hand, I’m impressed with Mackey’s description of the coverage he offers Whole Foods employees: anyone who works 30 hours or more per week gets $1,800 each year to spend on health-related expenses. If they don’t spend it, they get to roll it over for next year.  If they get sick, they can apply it toward the company insurance plan’s $2,500 deductible and after the employee kicks in the remaining $600 deductible, premiums are 100% covered.  That’s a pretty good plan.

But on the other hand, I’m appalled with Mackey’s apparent confidence that such thoughtful planning would be universal if people and companies were given the chance.  Specifically, he offers this as one of his 8 proposed reforms:

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

Individual customer preferences?  Please.  What do you think would be covered if the government let companies set their own standards of coverage?  I’m thinking zilch, or pretty close to it.

Oy, wait, I’m doing the thing I said we weren’t going to do.  So let me bring it back to Fresh Living land, where we talk about the choices that we can make in our individual lives. 

Are you planning to boycott Whole Foods because of its CEO’s opinions on health care reform?   Or do you not care about an executive’s political views, only his products?  Are you disappointed that someone who has a financial interest in having people practice preventive medicine by eating better, less-processed foods is wading into the fray…and is apparently finding common ground with some on the conservative end of the spectrum?

Or did you stop going to Whole Foods after Mackey’s last gaffe, when he snuck onto chat sites under a fake name to trash Whole Foods’ competitor Wild Oats?

What’s your boycott threshold?  Do tell.

(image via: http://broadwayworld.com)

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