As we all know, healthcare is a major issue facing our nation today and not only because of its scarcity but also, in my opinion, because of its format. America always seems to be facing problems with healthcare, health insurance – and most importantly (!) – the basic health of its own citizens.
Published back on August 11 of this year, in The Wall Street Journal, was a controversial article from the CEO of one of our nations most beloved and leading grocers – Whole Foods. CEO, John Mackey, wrote this article with an emphasis on eight key points he believes would better aid Americans with healthcare reform than the current plan being enforced through the Obama administration.
The eight points included in the article from Mackey are:
· Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs)
· Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits
· Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines
· Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover
· Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year
· Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost
· Enact Medicare reform
· 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
These eight points were taken directly from the article located at:
Before presenting his eight key tactics to lowering the overall cost of health care for all American citizens, Mackey explains his perception of the current healthcare state. Mackey feels as though the steps that the government are taking in reforming healthcare are not leading in the direction most beneficial for the nation. Contrasting our current deficit in 2009 of a projected $1.8 trillion to that which it could result at in following years – Mackey commences the articles controversy. Claiming that we are “running out of other people’s money” and that as the next 15 years come, Baby Boomers are going to be costing the nation extreme amounts of unfunded…frankly, nonexistent money in healthcare issues, now is a critical time to point out the flaws of the system(s) – and more importantly reform those flaws and take action to enact them.
In my personal opinion, I feel as though the “tipping point” of this article really comes from one critical paragraph included in the article – the paragraph in which Mackey simply explains that Americans would not have as many healthcare problems as they do, and therefore would not need healthcare as much as they currently do – if they were to take better care of themselves and their body’s. This is not to say that some illnesses can in fact still arise even if a person is as healthy as a horse; however, quite frankly the American people are the least healthy in the world.
When Mackey points this out, the issue becomes controversial – it becomes sticky – it becomes the tipping point. People do not want to hear that they are doing something wrong, or even just that they could help themselves more by changing some of their daily behaviors. Therefore, this is what made the issue tip.
Nowhere else in the world is the obesity rate as high as it is in America. Nowhere else do people get less exercise than the average American in America. No where else do children get fed candy bars and soda for a snack at school, like they do in America.
Personally, I really liked the article by Mackey simply because I feel the same way as he does. Perhaps we do not share all of the same political opinions; however, I feel that the political points within the issue are secondary to the more fundamental basic health issues that stem from proper diet and adequate exercise.
People are always comparing our healthcare system to that of the healthcare system in France; Americans want the healthcare assistance that the French have. This is because in France, healthcare is virtually free…and when you need a doctor, the doctor comes to visit you at your house instead of you having to wait hours upon hours in a waiting room…and when you need to abstain from going to work because of a temporary illness, your employer fully acknowledges this and allows absence and continued pay.
On the same note, Americans also want the HEALTH of the French people. Phrases such as: “The French drink a glass of wine every night”, “French women are always so thin”, and “The French eat tons of cheese and pastries” are stereotypical phrases you tend to hear. And they are all true. The French eat very healthy though and they exercise like there is no tomorrow. They do not automatically run to the doctor for umpteen different prescriptions at the onset of a mild cough or bellyache. Therefore, if people wish to be treated as the French are treated, in healthcare terms, they must first act as the French act.
With all of this said, it is important to note that Mackey was not extremely out-of-line for publishing this article. He is in fact a CEO of a multi-billion dollar health food enterprise. It’s not the guy is not informed on health, diet and exercise issues. The facts that he pointed out and the suggestions he made are definitely debatable to anybody as informed as he. What is not highly debatable though, is the notion that America and its people are not only facing an economic crisis – they are also facing hundreds upon thousands of health crisis.
For more information on both the article published by John Mackey, as well as information on the French healthcare system and lifestyle, visit: