I have sat on the sidelines observing the ObamaCare debacle, specifically the protests, AKA town hall meetings, and I must first say, protesters, leave your freaking guns at home! Watching the volatile situation unfold which has included so-called AstroTurf, mobs and racists, pull-the-plug-on-grandma "death panels," Hitler sightings, swastikas and the like, has been quite amusing, yet very frustrating.
Protesting (peacefully, of course) against the government is one of our constitutional rights and is a great way for American citizens to communicate our grievances, so why is it when the left does it it's considered honorable? Who can forget the loud voice of Hillary Clinton, back in 2003, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic and we should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!” Why then, when the right protests or disagrees with the government, it is demonized in every way possible? The obvious hypocrisy coming from the left over ObamaCare opponents (and even those who are confused and concerned) is quite shameful.
Now the left is attacking and punishing one of their own because he disagrees with the Obama administration. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, a progressive retailer, is being pilloried over the article he wrote on August 11th in the Wall Street Journal about his stance on, and alternatives to, ObamaCare.
The criticism of Mackey’s article was swift, Mark Rosenthal, a 39-year-old playwright in Massachusetts, was so angry that he started a Facebook group called Boycott Whole Foods the next day. Rosenthal’s beef apparently wasn’t just the health care portion of the op-ed. It was Mackey’s suggestion that “if you’re sick, it’s your fault,” that really got him fired up. “For anyone who has ever had a friend or family member get sick and you watched them die even with a good diet and exercise, it’s really insulting. I don’t know that [Mackey] considered the consequences of this statement”.
This is over Mackey's attempt to bring attention to the types of diseases that are preventable, and how these diseases affect health care costs in America today. Prevention is an important tool in cutting the risk of certain diseases and health care costs at the same time — something we are not discussing enough in the health care debate. Mackey wrote, “Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.” I can’t agree more–-many on the Left want to claim that health care is a civil right, but first and foremost, it is an individual responsibility. There are exceptions: birth defects, children’s health, the handicapped, elderly and the extreme poor, as well as health issues resulting from accidents and unforeseen circumstances like war, pandemics and natural disasters, and of course, diseases that manifest despite every effort to live a healthy lifestyle.
Nobody wants to see someone suffer and/or die from any illness, even if it is self-inflicted. If you read the entire article and have any sense, you would discern that Mackey had no ill intent and does care about the sick; since he is well informed about the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle, he wants others to consider the consequences of their choices. By the way, Mr. Rosenthal, Mackey never stated that all who are sick are to blame for their own illness, just many. These are Mackey’s exact words,
Unfortunately many of our health care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.
As a fitness expert with over 27 years experience in the health and fitness industry, I know the facts: it’s true that most (not all) diseases are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, including poor diet and lack of exercise. But most Americans don’t want to hear this and take responsibility for their own health, instead, we have resorted to the blame game and an entitlement mentality. The good news is that proper diet and exercise can reverse the damage we may have caused to our health and even cure many diseases today!
Russell Mokhiber, who is founder of the group Single Payer Action and one organizing protests against Whole Foods, doesn’t care about the good that Mackey has done and how much he gives back, nor the fact that Whole Foods is an active environmentalist. Quite the opposite, Mokhiber emphatically labeled Mackey as a bad guy on the Greta Van Susteren show this past week, just because Mackey doesn’t support the single payer system, which Mokhiber thinks is the only way to fix health care.
Protests, led by Jobs With Justice, a coalition of labor, community and religious groups, were held outside Whole Foods stores in Massachusetts on August 21. Russ Davis, executive director of this group, accused Mackey of being "a traitor to the progressive movement’s health care goals”. This is a store (chain) with all these healthy foods and has a liberal image, but its CEO is against any meaningful health care reforms.”
A "traitor?" Excuse me? Mackey is not against health care reform, nor are most Americans; what he is debating is how to fix a very complex issue. Some, including me, agree with Mackey,
while we clearly need health care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health care system.
Mackey presented eight reform ideas to boot! Did they read the entire article?
I have to laugh at the fact that these boycotters are shunning a company which sells high-quality foods that actually improve health and the quality of life, run by a CEO who promotes a healthy lifestyle; something that should have a major impact on the health of our country and its citizens, and which would result in a dramatic cut in our health care costs. But then, why take responsibility for our own health when the government will do it for us?
See you at the supermarket – the Whole Foods Market to be exact. My bad!