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Whole Foods CEO: If You Didn’t Like My Brilliant Op-Ed on Health Care, It’s Because You’re Afraid or Angry

800px-John_Mackey%2C_of_Whole_Foods_in_2009.jpgWhat an arrogant asshole John Mackey is.

"I honestly don’t know why the article became such a lightning rod," says John Mackey, CEO and founder of Whole Foods Market Inc., as he tries to explain the firestorm caused by his August op-ed on these pages opposing government-run health care. "I think a lot of people who got angry haven’t read what I actually wrote. There was a lot of emotional reaction—fear and anger. I just wanted to get people to think about whether there was a better way to reform the system."

If Mackey’s intent was to get people to consider his point of view, why use the smear, "ObamaCare," in the headline? Not helpful. And if he was genuinely trying to persuade and not simply poke progressives in the eye, why would start off by quoting a right-wing hero bashing socialism? Did Mackey really think all those progressive customers who made him rich would appreciate his reliance on multiple right-wing frames before his piece even began?

Mackey’s other ideas to "reform the system" (no mention, of course, about how to cover low-income people) included Teabagger-esque comments like,

A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter.

Sounds like an Ayn Rand-obsessed college Republican. There’s nothing in the Constitution guaranteeing an education either, so should we ban public schools? Let’s just go ahead and ban everything that’s not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, including charging people $24.95 for a tiny wedge of imported Parmesan.

But going back to Mackey’s current interview in the WSJ.

"A healthy diet is a solution to many of our health-care problems. It’s the most important solution. How much sugar do you think Americans consume? […] We can spend all the money we want on bypass surgeries, chemotherapy and diabetes, but . . . two-thirds [of Americans] are overweight, one-third are obese." He’s on a roll: "And it’s not that they have to shop at a Whole Foods Market. But people need to eat whole food plant foods, primarily . . . whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. That diet supports our lives. We ought to live to be 90 or 100 without getting any diseases."

In other words: get off your fat asses, America, and stop eating all that McDonald’s. Then you won’t get brain cancer or your child won’t need a kidney transplant or your wife won’t be afflicted with some rare, fatal disease that so unfairly cuts into the profits of those honest-to-God insurance companies, just struggling to make ends meet, while they keep your lazy, shiftless fat butts alive.

Keep digging, John. Keep digging.

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