Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Whole Foods, Greenpeace and Health Care

If you haven't heard about all of this you need to get online more. First off, Whole Foods CEO wrote an article suggesting his take (as a private person) on how we could do better on Health Care. He had some good points I thought (Tort Reform anyone?), but it was the response he got that makes him my hero and gives me a reason to shop at Whole Foods (other than my wife who likes them).

The far left "progressive" crowd went completely bat#$%% over his commentary and article. Lots of them stated that they would NEVER shop at Whole Foods again (wow, an added bonus for me). Daily Kos posters have pretty much called for his public execution. I absolutely love this. I am wondering what is making them madder; the fact that a CEO of a major corporation is weighting in against the President, or that they are now realizing that for all the "progressive" food and ecology and world love that they are associating with Whole Foods its still a major capitalist corporation run by a guy who makes tons of money off of them and doesn't care if they shop there or not.

And if this guy hadn't been running it, it wouldn't have worked out to start with.

The GreenPeace item is the article in the BBC Today in which the retiring head of GreenPeace admitted that the famous "All the Arctic Ice will be melted by 2030 unless we do something NOW" statement was a flat out lie. He said that they knew the data was wrong but went with it because the cause was just and the "US economic growth had to be curtailed". Nice. So if my cause is just I can lie? Wow, what a concept. It appears that lots of our current political establishment has taken that lesson to heart and then some.

Which leads to Health Care. Not much to say on this except that being in the military I am currently on the closest thing to a Socialist Health Care System the US has. And it sucks compared to the alternative. Tamara has kept her own health care as long as she could because its nice to be able to make a same day appointment instead of having to wait 5 to 8 days (that is the rough turnaround time at our Post). I'll agree we can improve our current system and that we have some serious issues with it. But this current monster they are pushing? Oh hell no.

Not only is it 1000+ pages of legalise, but its going to run run by an organization that can't run a used car sale or even read the entire bill before pushing it.

Guys, how about some research or something? Or keeping that promise to post all the bills for the public to read before signing? Bueller?


  1. I had heard about the CEO's comments, and given his history of comments to promote his organization at all expense, I viewed his comments more cynically, especially when he made comments about eating healthy to lower health costs. I agree with him, but this looks to me more like one of his attention getting ploys and driving business to his stores.

    Your comments about the DoD health system are notable - I was an Air Force brat and that was my health care system for 18 years, and it still is the system my parents and my in-laws use with some complaint. It's never been a great system but I wouldn't quite call it an example of a socialist system. It's more like a bizarre hybrid of military hospital work (full time military doing health care because they're also available for battlefield medicine) and capitalist health insurance. The former part is what you're struggling with, but when you get out of the service, you end up getting something like health insurance. Your waits will be shorter because they'll let you use non-base health care, but your out-of-pocket expenses won't be pretty which is what my parents and in-laws struggle with now.

    I fully agree that the system is in need of reform and perhaps they're pushing too much too quickly. The simplest and probably best approach is to address the reform slowly and perhaps treat the health care system like the public service utility it is. Regulate what the system is allowed to charge and put rules in place for when people don't pay their bills on time. Right now it is completely unregulated hence the mess we have.

  2. Yeah, this current thing is a bum rush job. I wouldn't mind someone taking 2 or 3 years to make something that works instead of this steaming pile. Its like deciding that your car is not running as well as it should be and your solution is to replace the entire engine and transmission in one day instead of actually doing a full diagnostic scan and then overhaul the part your need to fix. And while you are replacing the engine you decide to replace your 4 cylinder with a positraction 409 stock.

  3. There are folks arguing that getting something bad in place is the only way to get anything in place, and that it's a case of fix it when it's there.

    These people have never experienced beurocracy, clearly, but while their optimism regarding tweaking and fixing is appalling, I can't say their baseline thesis is wrong. 2-3 years will result in Congress passing over the issue to get to something more immediately salable.