Obamacare

John Mackey on the Whole Foods Plan and Why Individuals Can Be Trusted to Make Their Own Health-Care Decisions

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In an interview with Stephen Moore, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey defends his Wall Street Journal health-care op-ed:

"President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health-care reform," he explains. "I took him at his word." Mr. Mackey continues: "It just seems to me there are some fundamental reforms that we've adopted at Whole Foods that would make health care much more affordable for the uninsured."

Sounds reasonable enough. Who could be against constructive suggestions? Oh, that's right, the folks who decided that Mackey's proposals were so intolerable that they required a boycott.

And what awful, awful plan is he pushing on the world?

…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.

Mr. Mackey scoffs at that idea: "The assumption behind that is that people don't care about their own health, and that somebody else has to—a nanny or somebody—has to take care of me because people are too stupid to make these decisions themselves. That's not been our experience. We find our team members [employees], not surprisingly, seem to care a whole lot about their health."

Indeed, we've recently seen additional research that points toward the same conclusion: When people pay for their care out of dollars they control, they actually use more preventive care—while achieving similar results for less money.

More on the Whole Foods health-care kerfuffle here and here.

NEXT: Radio Double Duty

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  1. Oh, that’s right, the folks who decided that Mackey’s proposals were so intolerable that they required a boycott.

    Mine is only a temporsry boycott, until he opens a store close to me. I hear his stores are a good place to pickup chicks.

    1. Just watch out for the retarded Leftist chicks…they are Legion.

      1. Aren’t they the ones who are boycotting for real?

  2. Leftards have basically decided he weighs more than a duck, so they’re gonna burn him.

  3. John Mackey is doing great things. Using capitlism to solve the woes of scoiety… I know it sounds corny, but this is libertarianism in action.

    It’s a shame his efforts drew such criticism.

    1. Umm so it’s ok for Mr.Mackey for use capitalism to solve problems, but not ok for people who disagree with him to use capitalism to express their displeasure?
      Rightards. I swear to God.

  4. OT, but I wonder what Whole Foods’ board and stockholders feel about Mackey’s outspokenness. Just a professional curiosity, really.

    1. I’ve been spending a lot more money there because of his outspokenness and the store is always very crowded when I go. Less smelly hippies makes for a better retail environment.

  5. Ive never heard of the Health Savings account, can someone give me a site that has a non-bias rundown on it?

  6. 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.

    What?! The Collective does not care for these thoughts of individual choice and responsibility?

    When did this happen?

  7. Who could be against constructive suggestions? Oh, that’s right, the folks who decided that Mackey’s proposals were so intolerable that they required a boycott.

    Isn’t boycotting exactly the mechanism that libertarians advocate should be used to protest against imoral corporations. Seems like a private decision… also doesn’t seem like a big deal, I doubt Mackey or Whole Foods shareholders are losing much sleep over it.

    1. It is a private decision…a stupid one.

      And one they crow about in public. You want to promote your stupidity in public? Then expect to be mocked for it.

    2. Agreed about the boycotting thing. Wanna boycott something? Go right ahead. I may think it’s a stupid reason, and I’ll mock you for it, but you have that right.

      A better answer to the question would’ve been: The same people asking for constructive suggestions. Although pointing out Obama’s hyperbole and hypocrisy is likely getting tiring.

  8. He only made those “suggestions” because he is racist. Duh.

  9. Whole Foods sells nice food and all, but I have trouble with my urge to kill while I’m there.

  10. He only made those “suggestions” because he is racist. Duh.

    I can’t believe you just mocked Mute Americans, you speechist fascist.

    1. At least he wasn’t anti-dentite.

  11. Anyone can boycott anything they want.

    We can make fun of anything we want.

    Why is this so hard for some people?

  12. “President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health-care reform,” he explains. “I took him at his word.”

    Taking the President at his word is Racist AND Fascist [AND stupid].

    1. President Obama may have made that call, I never did. As such I will mock Mr. Mackey for being an idiot, opposing the majority opinions of his customers in public. That might be brave, but I think it’s idiocy, and poor business to boot.
      FWIW, I’m not boycotting whole foods because Mr.Mackey’s (pretty shortsighted) health plan, but rather because his store sells overpriced crap that I can buy cheaper, healthier, and more environmentally friendly at my local farmer’s market.

  13. OT, but I wonder what Whole Foods’ board and stockholders feel about Mackey’s outspokenness.

    The wiser ones will recall the soothsayer who opined, “This too shall pass!”

  14. “President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health-care reform,” he explains. “I took him at his word.” Mr. Mackey continues: “It just seems to me there are some fundamental reforms that we’ve adopted at Whole Foods that would make health care much more affordable for the uninsured.”

    *fingers in ears*

    If you are against Obamacare you have no solutions to offer! NOTHING!

  15. I heard (several times) that Mackey was a pro-market guy and I rarely shop at Whole Foods. It’s odd that many customers are just now finding out that Whole Food’s CEO does not support ALL of their causes.

  16. Hey Mackey you’re a swine I love this gourmet beer so fine! Hey Mackey!

  17. “President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health-care reform,” he explains. “I took him at his word.”

    He’s either incredibly naive or very sly. I’m going with sly.

  18. Switching my small group health plan from a HMO to a high-deductible/HSA plan is saving my family at least $6,600 a year and more likely over $10,000 a year. Mackey is on to something.

  19. Americans expect to show a photo ID when they board a plane, enter many office buildings, cash a check or even rent a video — but rarely in voting or applying for government benefits such as Medicaid. Many Democrats seem to view asking citizens for proof of identity as an invasion of privacy — though what’s really being protected is the right to commit identity fraud.

    Exhibit A is Tuesday’s 13 to 10 party-line vote in the Senate Finance Committee rejecting a proposal to require that immigrants prove their identity when signing up for federal health care programs. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, said current procedures make it easy for illegal immigrants to use false or stolen identities to get benefits. But he ran into a buzz saw of opposition. Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico insisted such fraud was too rare to be worth worrying about: “The way I see the amendment, it’s a solution without a problem.”

    Mr. Grassley admits to being “very perplexed as to why anyone would oppose this amendment.” So does Senator Tom Coburn, one of the only two physicians in the Senate. He cites studies suggesting that fraud will cost Medicare and Medicaid about $100 billion this year. Harvard’s Dr. Malcolm Sparrow, author of the book “License to Steal,” estimates that the losses could easily be higher — as much 20% or 30% of the trillion-plus dollars of spending represented by Medicaid and Medicare.

    You’d think Senate Democrats would be interested in finding out just who is committing that fraud. But Tuesday’s vote puts them firmly in the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” camp when it comes to the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..86128.html

  20. “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.”

    No the real reason they don’t like it is that it doesn’t implement the massive redistribution of wealth tha they want.

    They want to create a massive new entitlement program (under the misleading name of “reform”) and force everyone into the same risk pool at the same premium rate regardless of individual risk profile. This constitutes a massive transfer of wealth from the young, healthly and rich to the old, sick and poor.

  21. “You’d think Senate Democrats would be interested in finding out just who is committing that fraud. But Tuesday’s vote puts them firmly in the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” camp when it comes to the misuse of taxpayer dollars”

    Yeah – particularly since their own plan calls for cutting $500 billion from Medicare over 10 years to help pay for it

  22. I’ve never heard of the Health Savings account, can someone give me a site that has a non-bias rundown on it?

    Not sure it’s non-biased, but:
    When I was a kid, I had a thingy down at the local bank called a “savings account.” If I wanted to buy something that cost more than I made in a month, I’d stash part of what I earned in the account until I saved up enough to make the purchase. It was the opposite of charging it on a credit card, then paying for it long after whatever I bought was worn out.

    The HSA is similar. Let’s say I want an annual physical. That costs about $600. So I deposit $50 a month, and at the end of the year I can go get my physical. Of course during the year I find out that the hospital is holding a clinic where they’ll do the $300 in blood tests for only $150. And there’s a new Doc-in-a-box that does the EKG for $75 instead of $100, so my doctor has to lower his price to $80. So at the end of the year I only pay $430 for the same physical, leaving $170 in the account. Next year I know I only have to save about $40 per month to fund the annual physical, plus I can get annual flu shots for myself and my wife.

    Of course I may elect to still save $50 per month, just in case I need to make an office visit or two. But because we pay for office visits out of our HSA, my wife decides she doesn’t want to see the doctor every time her allergies kick in, and we figure out that it’s more economical to pop for one annual allergy shot for her.

    If something serious happens, of course, our high-deductable insurance policy kicks in.

  23. “Who could be against constructive suggestions?”

    The Stalinist fuckbag retarded fetus Left.

  24. To quote Mr. Mackey:

    “And,” he is quick to add, “we do cover pre-existing conditions after one year of service.”

    On one hand, this is a reasonable approach given the potential cost. This allows them to hire people with pre-existing conditions with less fear of Whole Foods premiums going up because of higher claims costs. Whole Foods, by virtue of being a corporation, has an obligation to make a profit.

    But the logic behind it is, in my opinion, one of the prime reason that we need a public option that gets me and others with pre-existing conditions covered right away.

    If there was a public option that immediately covered pre-existing conditions, then all companies would be on a level playing field. They would all have an option that allowed for covering all of their employees immediately.

    Come to think of it, why wouldn’t Mr. Mackey want all of his employees covered immediately.

    Is it because I don’t deserve coverage for my Spina Bifida in the first year because I’m too expensive? Is it because it’s my own fault that I was born like this and I should just buck up be grateful that I have any coverage?

    What does Mr. Mackey expect his employees with Cancer to do? Run through their life savings trying to pay for their meds until they qualify for Medicare?

    One other thing: There are many Americans with pre-existing conditions who want to work, but cannot for fear of losing their health benefits if their income goes above the level that they no longer qualify for Medicare. Having to wait a year for coverage doesn’t give them a chance to bridge this gap.

    Jim

    1. I don’t think the public option is a good solution to this problem.

      However, I do think it is a problem that hampers labor mobility.

    2. What does Mr. Mackey expect his employees with Cancer to do? Run through their life savings trying to pay for their meds until they qualify for Medicare?

      RTFA

    3. I’ve just started hearing this “it’s not my fault I was born with this condition therefore others should be forced to pay” meme in the last couple of months.

      Whose fault is it?

      1. When I referred to my disability and “is it my fault?”, my point was to ask if there was some justification for the kind of penalty/cost I have to deal with when it comes to health insurance (which is the only way we can get health care coverage).

        Really, the point to all of this is that it’s important to have good affordable health care coverage for all Americans. I am less interested in how it is implemented (public vs. private) than I am about how to make this happen.

        I cannot for the life of me see how anyone could justify a health care system in which people have to die because they can’t afford surgery or a system where people have to have fund raisers to pay for cancer treatments.

        When you cover me and everyone else, you cover yourself. And, as we say in the disabled community, if you aren’t disabled, you are temporarily abled bodied.

        I don’t want you to pay for me, but I am willing to pitch in for everyone so that they don’t live in fear of going bankrupt over their medical bills.

        And the bottom line is “how do we want to treat each other in our society, our country”. Is it a case of “I have mine, now – go away”?

        And Kinnath, you are right. I am asking for “guarenteed health CARE regardless of risk.” Not INSURANCE but health CARE.

    4. Question: Did your parents have you insured when you were born?

    5. A car wrapped around a telephone poll has a pre-existing condition that car INSURANCE won’t pay for after the fact.

      Health INSURANCE shouldn’t cover pre-existing medical conditions.

      What you’re asking for is guarenteed health CARE regardless of risk.

      If you want to discuss public safety nets, then do so. But don’t clutter up the health INSURANCE discussion with nonsense.

  25. On one hand, this is a reasonable approach given the potential cost.

    On the other hand is four fingers and a thumb.

    1. This must end. A thumb is a finger! It’s just offset for grasping! Same biology!

      AAAGGGH!!

      1. Slightly different biology – thumbs only have 2 phalanges, while fingers have 3.

        1. Not if Professor Xavier has anything to do with it!

  26. But the logic behind it is, in my opinion, one of the prime reason that we need a public option that gets me and others with pre-existing conditions covered right away.

    In other words, you’re in favor of free, unlimited health care for everybody. Just say that.

    1. I’m sure he’s aware that it’s not free, per se.

  27. If there was a public option that immediately covered pre-existing conditions, then all companies would be on a level playing field. They would all have an option that allowed for covering all of their employees immediately.

    Why would they do that, when they can just pay a penalty (a known cost) and let the employee go on the public plan and get their medical paid for (an unknown, likely much higher cost)?

    1. Might I point out that in such a case, the difference between the penalty and the group insurance cost would eventually be paid out as higher wages.

  28. “Is it because I don’t deserve coverage for my Spina Bifida in the first year because I’m too expensive? Is it because it’s my own fault that I was born like this and I should just buck up be grateful that I have any coverage?”

    I get tired of hearing this “no fault of my own” meme from people that want to force others to pay for their welfare.

    Whether your situation is “no fault of your own” or not is irrelevant. It isn’t the fault of any of the people you want to be forced to pay for it either.

    1. Not true. I snuck into his mother’s womb and messed around with his DNA.

  29. The thing that strikes me about Mackey’s arguments is that he makes them from a position of experience. He has seen how the market works to solve problems, and he has seen real-world success with his particular approach. The track record of socialized medicine approaches around the world has been spotty, and seems to get even moreso with each new scandal related to government health care that is reported in this country or overseas.

    It would be one thing if socialized medicine had been famously successful for decades with no apparent cracks in the facade, and if Mackey were just peddling unproven theory. But neither is the case.

    Why do ignorant people feel the need to shout down the guy who has actually BEEN THERE and SEEN the thing in question? I realize this kind of thing has been going on for as long as humans have existed, but really now: How can we then be serious about having “evolved” at all over the eons?

  30. What we need, more than anything else is AFFORDABLE and AVAILABLE health care, so that more people can find the health care they need, and can pay for most of their medical expenses out-of-pocket (or modest savings), as with expenses for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. The competition and innovation of the free market are the best forces for ensuring affordability, and, as a bonus, don’t require highly-paid government administrators to “run” the system.

    1. There are low cost alternatives for routine medical care, but many do not want to pay out of their own pocket if they can get someone else to pay for it. An example is my foster sister. She had a small rash that was bothering her. I suggested that she go to any of several walk-in clinics near our home. She argued that she couldn’t afford it because she had no healthcare insurance. I informed her that the visit would be less than $50 dollars and medication probably less than $50 also. I know the cost because several months earlier my mother had a similar issue. This was still too much, but $100 is less than she spends on cigarettes, beer, and other mind altering substances in less than a month. So she wanted me to pay for the appointment. Of course I have the $100 because I don’t smoke, drink and work more than 30 hours a week. That is the type of person we are dealing with in this country. I do not feel sorry for her, I feel sorry for the rest of us that have to support her instead of investing those resources more effectively.

      1. Nicole, thanks for your cool post. You’ve really nailed the problem on the head.

  31. Come to think of it, why wouldn’t Mr. Mackey want all of his employees covered immediately.

    So he doens’t get people getting a job at WF, only with the intention of getting their illness covered and then bailing.

    WF is making an investment in your employment. They want to make sure that you invest in them too.

  32. re: “No the real reason they don’t like it is that it doesn’t implement the massive redistribution of wealth tha they want.”

    The real reason for most liberal beliefs (or the beliefs of any other religious group) is that they rarely hear an opposing view or contrary information and they want to fit in with their social group by having all the same opinions.

  33. Reinforced by real reason #2: Espousing liberal beliefs helps guys get liberal chicks.

  34. You people are ridiculous… you all sound angry and bitter that you haven’t gotten any because all the “hot Liberal babes” don’t agree with your “obviously rational approach” to economics and politics.

    Dudes, give it a break… you’re in a minority and you always will be in a minority. If the Founding Fathers weren’t a bunch of country bumpkins and instead were aware of the urban, technological society that we find ourselves, they would most definitely side with universal health care proponents.

    1. This is retarded.

    2. If the Founding Fathers weren’t a bunch of country bumpkins and instead were aware of the urban, technological society that we find ourselves, they would most definitely side with universal health care proponents.

      [Citation needed]

      hot Liberal babes

      [Citation needed]

    3. What’s your address so I can come over and demand money at gunpoint anytime I feel like it?

      What’s that? You don’t it when your philosophy is used against you?

      Hypocrite.

  35. “But the logic behind it is, in my opinion, one of the prime reason that we need a public option that gets me and others with pre-existing conditions covered right away.”

    I have no interest in paying for your health care.

  36. “If the Founding Fathers were just like me they’d have the same opinions I do!”

    Anymore stunning insights?

  37. “Is it because it’s my own fault that I was born like this and I should just buck up be grateful that I have any coverage?”

    Yes.

  38. “Preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

    Wait, what’s that first one again???

    Oh, and it’s not like all of us who are for universal health care are in a big Liberal Hivemind.

    I can’t stand vegans and organic food. I hate anti-smoking laws. I think people should have a right to own firearms. I think recreational drugs should be legal. I have no qualms with the majority of free market policies…

    However, there are HUGE societal costs with private health insurers. The U.S. is the ONLY developed country without universal health care. Now tell me, has all of Europe disappeared in to financial ruin since adopting universal health care policies? The life expectancy to health care cost ratio in the U.S. is terrible.

    The thing is, you guys are SO freaking amped up on “no, this is bad, this is bad because rationally, nothing makes as much sense as the free market determining everything” that you can NOT for the lives of you (literally) see the economic externalities and market failure inherit in the system…

    You’re all blinded by your ideology…

    … but you’re in a minority! The majority of productive and educated members of the developed world all agree with me. It is only a matter of time until EVERY developed nation has universal health care… WAKE UP!

    1. However, there are HUGE societal costs with private health insurers.

      Most people here agree with this, which is EXACTLY why we like Mackey’s approach that only uses in insurance for what insurances is intended for — covering the costs of an expensive but unexpected medical crisis, not routine medical care.

      Now tell me, has all of Europe disappeared in to financial ruin since adopting universal health care policies? The life expectancy to health care cost ratio in the U.S. is terrible.

      Financial ruin? Not really, but that’s because they can just cut back on health care spending and ration care (the UK’s NHS is probably the worst of the bunch). Oh, and if you want to solve our lower life expectancy, you might want to first start with solving automobile related deaths and homicide.

    2. “Preservation of [citation needed] life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

  39. Whole Foods sells healthy food, practices “socially responsible trade,” and prides itself on promoting foods that are grown to support “biodiversity and healthy soils.” Mr. Mackey donates 5% of company profits to charity and has been one of America’s loudest critics of runaway compensation on Wall Street. And he pays himself $1 a year. He would seem to be a model corporate citizen.

    Yet his now famous op-ed incited a boycott of Whole Foods by some of his left-wing customers.

    People are dumb.

  40. Autodidact: do you have any interest in paying for my roads? My public schools? My national defense? My water treatment? How about my access to national parks?

    Sugarfree: My point was that when they were signing this country in to law 90% of politicians were farmers. There was no medical industry. Medicine wasn’t much more advanced than “chop it off or put leaches on it”… The main point of bringing that up is that times have changed…

    1. No. No. No. No. No.

      I have no interest in any of them. I am interested in paying for #3 for myself and I will let you fall under the umbrella. You can thank me anytime.

      #1 seems unavoiable, at least on a local level, so I will deal. Most of us are libertarians, not anarchists, after all. #2,4,5 you can pay for yourself.

      1. my roads? My public schools? My national defense? My water treatment? How about my access to national parks?

        “My…My…My…” It’s not “yours” until you mix your labour with it.

  41. Yeah – particularly since their own plan calls for cutting $500 billion from Medicare over 10 years to help pay for it

    Oh, c’mon. Does anybody seriously believe that the Dems really plan to cut Medicare? Ever?

    On the one hand, they can cut Medicare, piss off millions of votin’ senior citizens and a half dozen very powerful lobbies.

    On the other, they can just run massive deficits.

    What to do, what to?

    1. Well it’s not COMPLETELY impossible that the Dems would ever make any Medicare cuts but the odds are roughly equivalent to those of Michael Moore winning an Iron Man triathalon.

  42. “”Preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

    Wait, what’s that first one again??? ”

    Wait, what’s that SECOND one again???

    I should be free from having to underwrite your fucking life. I’m not asking you to underwrite mine.

    Given that, STFU.

  43. “Autodidact: do you have any interest in paying for my roads? My public schools? My national defense? My water treatment? How about my access to national parks?”

    Nope. Thanks for asking.

  44. “externalities”

    That’s a form of laxative, isn’t it?

  45. However, there are HUGE societal costs with private health insurers.

    There are also huge societal costs with government-run healthcare.

    The U.S. is the ONLY developed country without universal health care.

    I. Don’t. Care.

    Now tell me, has all of Europe disappeared in to financial ruin since adopting universal health care policies?

    Their public finances are nothing to brag about, especially since they don’t spend diddley on their militaries. And keeping the lid on health spending is where they incur those societal costs.

    The life expectancy to health care cost ratio in the U.S. is terrible.

    Life expectancy has relatively little to do with health care in advanced nations. Now, if you want to look at life expectancy after coming down with a serious illness or catastrophic accident, when health care really matters, we can talk.

  46. You know what makes a lot of sense? Private roads. That way, we could have competing streets in cities! Man, there must be some overwhelming government authorities that have kept this one from happening throughout the history of mankind! Also, private aqueducts! I can’t see any sort of issue with that! It would work perfectly! Every man for themselves will ALWAYS WORK BEST, RIGHT!?!?!

    1. “You’re all blinded by your ideology…”

      too funny. you are an idiot.

      1. This guy, likely a spoof, conflates “private roads” with “Every man for themselves”.

        1. Japan has a lot of provate roads. Chicago has some private roads (Macquarie took them private if I remember correctly), Australia has some private roads… I’m pretty sure private roads/bridges aren’t a new invention… but good for Haakon in astutely pointing out their value.

          I think that public roads do make sense in a lot of instances especially when they are built by joint labour (ie a path gets worn by fishermen in a village going to a lake every-day)…

          I also think that most libertarians would be pretty ok with some level of public infrastructure (just as long as it isn’t the TVA)

    2. I think one of RCz lawz should say something along the lines of “They always go right to roads.”

      Hackon, why don’t you read Mackey’s op-ed and come back with what you don’t like about it, rather than creating a bunch of strawmen and whining about wanting free (for you) health care.

  47. Reinforced by real reason #2: Espousing liberal beliefs helps guys get liberal chicks.

    I’m no liberal, but this is retarded. Do you know any liberals older than 21? Coming from a family of insufferable liberals, I can tell you, they’re not in it to get laid. They’re true believers.

    Where did the preview button go?

    1. I consider myself a clasical liberal, but I’ve considered changing to a big gov’t protectionist so that I can enjoy the eye candy at the rallies… Conservatives can be hot too, but the guy-to-girl ratio is off, and it’s my sense that they’re probably pruder in general.

      1. In my age demographic that is (20s)

      2. Both crowds are usually dumpy, hairy, and pale. Male and female.

        1. Warty is all 5 of those things, but we still love hir.

  48. Someone sure is hysterical about the beliefs of an insignificant minority.

    The slaves complain about the weight of their chains? How fucking dare they!

  49. Where did the preview button go?

    All the enlighten Europeans decided we didn’t need one and there’s no way we can resist them.

  50. R C Dean: No freaking way, you don’t care?

    Hey, look at the Euro compared to the dollar since it’s introduction… I seem to remember it starting at a one-to-one… whoa! Now it takes 1.468 of my dollars to buy something from Europe! Or, it only takes THEM 0.683 Euros to start buying up U.S. businesses!

    Here’s the general rational of you dudes: “I don’t give a shit about anyone but myself… so much so that I will make life harder for myself in the long run.”

    1. Aren’t you the one who likes gov’t spending??

      There are a lot of people here who like the gold standard.

  51. “Every man for themselves will ALWAYS WORK BEST, RIGHT!?!?!”

    You know what amazes me? Dipshits who believe that the only two options are anarchy or Massive Federal control. Where do they learn this dialectic bullshit?

  52. “Hey, look at the Euro compared to the dollar since it’s introduction”

    Hey, move to fucking Europe, bitch.

  53. So let me ask, should we sell our national parks to the highest bidder? Should Yellowstone become Geyser Land? Should there be McMansions on the cliff-sides in Yosemite?

    1. Yes.
      Yes.
      Yes.

      Did I leave anything out?

      1. Haakon sucks, but I have to agree with him here. It is impossible to determine the value of goods such as parks to future generations, and with goods like wild-life the product is arguably non-renewable (extinction etc). Additionally because risk gets larger as time increases there is a natural discounting of even expected future preferences therefor investmetn will favour current (most efficient) uses.

  54. “You know what amazes me? Dipshits who believe that the only two options are anarchy or Massive Federal control. Where do they learn this dialectic bullshit?”

    WHAT? You just said you don’t think you should be paying for public roads and you’re saying that *I* see the world black and white?

    1. libertarians and Libertarians aren’t Anarchists… you should read Wikipedia

  55. “So let me ask, should we sell our national parks to the highest bidder? Should Yellowstone become Geyser Land? Should there be McMansions on the cliff-sides in Yosemite?”

    I simply don’t give a rat’s aft.

    Do they have a lot of national parks in Europe? After you get settled in, send us a postcard.

  56. I’m of the mind that health care isn’t a right, but that it should be universal, in one way or another.

    Step 1:Separate health care from employment.

    Step 2: See Geico and Allstate ads competing for health insurance customers

    Step 3: PROFIT by seeing higher demand and lower costs.

    Step 4: Dismantle Medicare+all other gov’t run insurance

    Step 5: Provide vouchers for those who qualify for Medicare+all others so they can buy private insurance.

    Step 6: MORE PROFIT!!!

    Government should pay for health care but not provide it. I, for one, am willing to pay a societal cost for universal health care…in this manner. Others don’t strike me as working as efficiently.

  57. “WHAT? You just said you don’t think you should be paying for public roads and you’re saying that *I* see the world black and white?”

    Yes.

    You grow tiresome. I am done with you.

    1. Haakon sucks, but I have to agree with him here. It is impossible to determine the value of goods such as parks to future generations, and with goods like wild-life the product is arguably non-renewable (extinction etc). Additionally because risk gets larger as time increases there is a natural discounting of even expected future preferences therefor investmetn will favour current (most efficient) uses.

      1. don’t know why what I just wrote showed up there… I’ll repost where it’s supposed to be.

  58. all hail haakon! answerer of all questions.

  59. You’re all blinded by your ideology…

    Yes, it must be us.

    Don’t you guys ever get tired of being deaf, dumb and blind to irony?

  60. The U.S. is the ONLY developed country without universal health care.

    We were also the only western country, for centuries, with a written document guaranteeing individual rights.

    I guess we should have dumped that and followed the pack on that one too.

  61. I also love that he got out a quote from the Declaration. You know, the document where we rejected the notion that we should be ruled by Europe.

  62. Oooooooh, I get it now. Mackey thought his organic lefty-liberal clientele were his friends.

  63. So let me ask, should we sell our national parks to the highest bidder?

    Yes; we need the money. Next question?

  64. “Don’t you guys ever get tired of being deaf, dumb and blind to irony?”

    Who are “you guys”?

    Fuck vegans. Fuck organic food. I should have the right to my hand gun. I think sociology is a bunch of garbage…

    but…

    Market failures do occur and there is enough historical precedence to warrant a doctorate in the studies of them.

    I think publicly funded medical insurance works better! We have actual evidence from nations who have had universal health for decades, not just a bunch of ideological conjecture.

    So, who am I group-thinking with?

  65. “We were also the only western country, for centuries, with a written document guaranteeing individual rights.”

    Um… have you heard of Magna Carta?

    Here’s a little sampling: “NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.”

    I mean, I’ve got a feeling that it helped inspire a few other documents…

  66. JW: but considering you just advocated for the selling off of America’s greatest treasures… I’m not too surprised by the fact that you’re not that well educated

    1. They would still be America’s great treasures if privately owned. Even if Japan bought them.

      1. There are legitimate economic arguments against selling parks… I personally think Friedman got this one wrong.

      2. No they wouldn’t, by your own argument.

  67. What is it with this “my way or the highway” shit as well?

    Just to be at the five year old level present on this thread: Why don’t YOU guys leave America? It is obviously a socialist hell hole!

    You don’t seem to be able to have a rational discussion… just resorting to “oh, that’s how you people all think… so move back to France, blalelb blblalsdksjdlfk”

    1. You lovers of socialism have options. There are few places as free as the US (granted that is changing thanks to scum like you) so we don’t have anywhere to go.

  68. you’re saying that *I* see the world black and white?

    Actually, I think you see it as a synesthesic jumble of lights, sounds a colors and you’re still trying make sense of it all.

  69. Bored now.

  70. See, all I’m trying to do is show you that ideological thought is an irrational death trap… here’s a little life lesson:

    There is no such thing as “the absolute right way” to do things. The universe doesn’t work like that… the sooner you realize this, the better…

    … because seriously, go outside, walk in to the nearest cafe, or store, or whatever, and try and convince the first person you see that we should sell the Grand Canyon to Six Flags. Tell me how that goes.

    1. He said yes.

      1. No I didn’t! See below. 🙂

    2. we should sell the Grand Canyon to Six Flags.

      Let’s hold out for a bidder who can pay more, like Soros or Gates.

      1. Six Flags is pretty broke, probably has to restructure

    3. LOL, get the fuck outta here dude. Get your absolutist bullshit outta here, too.

  71. Was that joe guy like this one?

    1. Nah, joe had a brain. He didnt always use it, but he had one.

    2. No, joe was intelligent.

      Holy crap. This is like the neighborhood retarded kid gone bad and he won’t shut up.

      1. What part of what I’m saying makes me come across as a “retarded kid” or “lacking of a brain”?

        1. Everything after “You people are ridiculous….”

          Now go away or I shall taunt you again.

          1. I bet his mother smells of elderberries.

  72. “Actually, I think you see it as a synesthesic jumble of lights, sounds a colors and you’re still trying make sense of it all.”

    Well, when I’m painting, I do see the world like that!

    However, I tend to have a few different ways that I look at the world… because you know, there are differences between driving cars, abstract paintings, and reading books.

    I don’t have this one mentality that I try and superimpose over absolutely everything, no matter how ridiculous the outcome of of that thought process might be… which, you do.

  73. ARGH!!! ME AM HAVING NO BRAIN!!! OH NO!

    What? Care to back any of that up?

  74. Oh oh, I get it… because you think that we SHOULD sell the Grand Canyon to the highest bitter…

    How stupid of me! Imagine me, thinking that that would be something silly, something that I could bait you in to realizing the ridiculous nature of your ideology!

    How utterly stupid of me for assuming that!

    1. why is it utterly stupid? you jump to the conclusion that Six Flags would utterly destroy how many millions of acres of land if they bought the national parks. somehow in your world public pressure on politicians works but market pressure (which, uh oh, is also a form of social pressure) on businessmen won’t. you are an idiot.

      bc you jump to conclusions that are convenient to your sense of self-righteousness does not make it so.

    2. I realize that I am coming into this conversation very late, but just wanted to take a minute to add;

      Dear Haakon, go fuck yourself.

      I’ve been to Europe many, many times and it would be lovel place to live if it wasn’t for all the Europeans stiking up the place.

  75. “Who are “you guys”?”

    Universal healthcare stooges.

  76. “See, all I’m trying to do is show you that ideological thought is an irrational death trap”

    LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!!!

  77. “Oh oh, I get it… because you think that we SHOULD sell the Grand Canyon to the highest bitter… ”

    I say we give it back to the Native Americans. They took very good care of it. You got a problem with that?

  78. “”Oh oh, I get it… because you think that we SHOULD sell the Grand Canyon to the highest bitter… “”

    “bitter” much?

  79. The majority of productive and educated members of the developed world all agree with me.

    [citation needed]

  80. I say we give it back to the Native Americans. They took very good care of it. You got a problem with that?

    He might not but I do! Give it “back” to people who never claimed ownership? Idunnathinkso. But if you are looking for a random Indian to give it to, I am up for it. Now, where is my list of developers at the ready . . .

  81. There is no such thing as “the absolute right way” to do things.

  82. Gah. Take 2….

    There is no such thing as “the absolute right way” to do things.

    Haven’t you been saying the exact opposite?

    How utterly stupid of me for assuming that!

    Pretty much.

    Run along now. You don’t want to be late for those advanced classes in teeth gnashing and outraged indignation.

  83. @John Tagliaferro

    🙂

  84. Meanwhile, down on the plantation

    The White House Rose Garden was a sea of white lab coats as doctors from around the country were the latest audience for President Barack Obama’s pitch on healthcare reform.

    “I am thrilled to have all of you here today. And you look very spiffy in your coats,” Obama said.

    The current state of play on the legislation is that the Senate Finance Committee will vote on its version on Tuesday, and it is expected to be approved. That bill then gets melded with one passed earlier this year by the Senate Health committee. Then the mixed concoction hits the Senate floor for a vote, expected by mid-October.

    The public option is the wild card ? whether it gets included and if so in what form.

    A New England Journal of Medicine poll last month found that most American doctors favor having both public and private options in healthcare reform.

    What a surprise: “most American doctors favor” price supports for the medical cartel.

  85. If you’re planning to come to Yellowstone, today, dress warm, and bring your snowshoes.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. My first act as the new owner of Yellowstone will be to let a concession to L.L. Bean.

      Second act will be to get a catchy mascot. Perhaps something from the Hannah/Barbaera family.

      If anything is wrong in this comment I blame threading and lack of previwew.

  86. There is no such thing as “the absolute right way” to do things.

    This from someone who just finished telling us “the absolute right way” to provide healthcare.

    Seems to me that if one truly believed that “[t]here is no such thing as ‘the absolute right way’ to do things” one would favor the system that allows individuals to determine their own way of doing things.

    Gee, I wonder which system that is.

  87. What is it with this “my way or the highway” shit as well?

    Well, I think that maybe some of us think it’s better than the “my way or the firing squad” shit that you seem to be going for.

    Seems that the average libertarian has fewer reasons for wanting other people killed than the average liberal does.

  88. “Here’s the general rational of you dudes: “I don’t give a shit about anyone but myself… so much so that I will make life harder for myself in the long run.”

    Well let’s see – we’ve had several massive healthcare entitlement programs running for quite a few years now – Medicare and Medicaid. Both have already vastly exceeded their initial cost projections and have been proven to be abject failures. I have’t detected any “long run” benefit from them in my life. In fact it’s pretty much guaranteed to be “long run” detriment if the government continues to prop it up with my tax money.

    Creating another massive entitlement for everybody else on top of it is guaranteed to be another massive detriment – both short and long term.

    1. Haven’t we already run out of other people’s money?

      Oh, that’s right. I keep forgetting that we just print more when we do.

    2. “Abject failures” WTF?!?!?!?
      Try taking them away from the people that have them.
      Like this guy
      http://i249.photobucket.com/al….._times.jpg

      He’ll shoot yo ass, yo!

  89. Thanks for the heads up. My first act as the new owner of Yellowstone will be to let a concession to L.L. Bean.

    Ooh, ooh, can you import some African animals, too? I think it would be so cool if I could go to Yellowstone and see elephants and lions right there alongside the bison and elk.

    1. I like that idea! Will make sure you get credit in writing and a free one day pass!

  90. See, all I’m trying to do is show you that ideological thought is an irrational death trap…

    I’d say it’s a bad idea to analyze issues only through ideological thought, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that ideological thought is irrational. It is a useful mental tool to have an ideology.

    It is best to analyze a problem through more than one framework of ideas. If you are applying ideology, it’s best to check your answer by also looking at the same problem from a pragmatic point of view.

  91. It is best to analyze a problem through more than one framework of ideas.

    Wait; does that mean I shouldn’t automatically believe Ken Burns?

  92. Ooh, ooh, can you import some African animals, too? I think it would be so cool if I could go to Yellowstone and see elephants and lions right there alongside the bison and elk.

    For a nominal fee, you can tag along as the lions hunt down and kill the bison and elk nightly.

    But, before you do that, be sure to stop by the LL Bean shop and buy yourself some Nor’Easter Lion-Proof? jackets and boots.

    Always be ready to tell Mother Nature to fuck off.

  93. But the logic behind it is, in my opinion, one of the prime reason that we need a public option that gets me and others with pre-existing conditions covered right away.

    I don’t have a problem with the government providing a safety net for hardship cases, like poor folks with pre-existing conditions who can’t get health insurance. My libertarian ideal would be that it be handled by private philanthropy, but I’m not going to quibble about that.

    Like Kinnath said, let’s talk about a public safety net then. And not lay the problem at the feet of employers and insurance companies, both of which have natural, honorable reasons to NOT want to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

  94. Wait; does that mean I shouldn’t automatically believe Ken Burns?

    Sorry, I don’t follow Ken Burns. I’m afraid you’ll have to explain the reference to me.

  95. And from way upthread, Haakon says:

    “Preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

    Let me know when you find the term ‘preservation’ in the Declaration of Independence.

    1. It’s a living document – just like the Constitution.

      Liberals have re-write priveledges – although no one else does.

  96. Let me know when you find the term ‘preservation’ in the Declaration of Independence.

    It’s in the canning and salting section. They did not have freeze-drying back then.

  97. Ken Burns,Documentarist Simplifyer Extraordinaire, has a new opus, called The National Parks; America’s Greatest Idea or some such puffery.

    If Ken Burns thinks National Parks are the greatest idea ever, resistance is futile.

    1. Yes indeed.

      I tried to watch some of the early episodes of it but I had to turn it off.

      If anyone ever doubted that “environmentalism” is not a replacement for religion among the fanatical devotees, this documentary removes all doubt.

      It takes earth workshipping to new heights. There are so many religious type references in it, one would think John Muir was actually Moses.

      1. I love national parks. It’s tainted love for sure, knowing that folks who have no interest in them are forced to subsidize my leisure, but what the hell, I drive on public roads too, and I happen to dig that nature shit.

        But the first episode I happened upon of that Burns documentary turned my stomach once he had someone telling us that national parks help us to see who we really are or some crap like that. Gimme a freakin’ break!!

  98. It’s not enough I have to watch out for deer and elk on the road; you zoological tinkerers want to get me killed by an elephant.

  99. Threaded comments: it is a pain in the ass to scroll around to see if people commented on your comments… change it back Reason!!! Change it back!!!!!!!

  100. I took a shit in Yellowstone once.

  101. we should sell old faithful to t. boone pickens to use for renewable geothermal electricity generation! al gore’s head asplode

  102. fuck these threads… it’s fucking impossible to read new comments without scrolling through the entire page

  103. In truth, Mackey’s health insurance plan wasn’t that bad…. but it did overlook some very important areas.

    The most important being that it’s still “employer based”. All the competition and “removing barriers” and “tax deductible” doesn’t help people who want to leave their jobs but cannot because they are tied to their health insurance by family, etc.
    If the government stepped in with a government “medicare/medicaid” plan for all, we’d all be able to leave jobs, go work for ourselves, and you’d see an explosion of innovation in the marketplace, as (I’m sure you are aware) small business are the driving force for innovation in the economy.

    Second, making privately purchased health insurance tax deductible does nothing for people who do not make enough to owe the IRS. So, Mackey’s plan does nothing to help the 40 million Americans who lack insurance, because they by-and-large do not make enough to pay taxes.

    Mackey also wants to “Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover”. Doesn’t that make the ‘preexisting conditions’ even harder to cover?

    “?Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost ”
    Good luck with that. Any idea how we can make any of the healthcare system transparent is welcome. The real problem isn’t the cost of care, but the costs of insurance. I know exactly what my laproscopic choleoectomy cost me, but I didn’t know beforehand how much of that cost would be *MY* responsibility.
    A big problem I see with the whole ‘competition’ idea is that even the simplest health insurance plan has miles of unintelligible jargon that makes meaningful comparison impossible without a lawyer and a doctor reading over your shoulder.

    As far as the “repeal all state laws” part, I thought you reason guys are all “tenthers”?

    The only way to really de-couple healthcare from employment is to have an insurance provider who is decoupled from employers… the federal government. It’s the only institution large enough to provide coverage across state lines, through different jobs, etc. And having a ‘public option’ provides the the mechanism to insure the uninsured/uninsurable, cover gaps for those changing employment, provide private insurance companies real competition, and have the negotiating power to lower costs.

    Many of the criticisms of “socialized medicine” (all insurance is socialized) are relatively decent critiques of the ‘single payer’ systems, which IS NOT ON THE TABLE. No one is discussing making the US a single payer healthcare country.

    Having a government option would give people the option, but if it sucks, they could always go with Blue Cross.

    That’s real choice.

  104. As a liberal I think his plan is actually very good. Problem is, his plan isn’t a available to me or anyone else who wants in (unless you happen to work for his company). The so called ‘free’ market doesn’t allow me to enter his plan. If insurance companies had to offer the same plan to everyone, it would be pretty good.

    I see a great health plan offered by a great company. I don’t see a solution for American healthcare though.

    I assume that a libertarian wouldn’t force this plan on other companies, right?

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