How expected. The CEO of whole foods says that government is not the solution to out of control health care expenditures. He says we are. The American people are responsible for out of control health care expenditures. He preaches a life of personal responsibility, of personal choice and actions that lead to health. And what does he get for it?
Pragmatists on all sides of the health care question (and probably every political question) believe that, on the whole, human nature does not change, and we’ve got to fight or not fight the health care war with the citizenry we’ve got, not the one we wish we had. Utopians like Mackey, on the other hand, believe that public-policy debates are only a middle step in the real solution to our problems, which is to change human nature. The solution to our health care woes, Mackey seems to believe, is for all of us to become like him—hyper-rational in evaluating our options, hyper-responsible in following through on them, and devoted to healthy living (that plant-based diet!).
Yes, that is actually the solution, to become more hyper-rational in evaluating our options, hyper-responsible in following through on them, and devoted to healthy living. The fact that this commentator makes a mockery of personal responsibility, instead choosing to support couch potato, Chetoo eating, Oprah watching smokers with for all their health care needs because, well, that’s just what humans do, is pathetic.
If you want someone else to pay for your health care, be prepared to play by their rules. And the rules have to change. Or there won’t be any money for anyone. Ninety-nine trillion dollars says so
. Making humans entitled to the side effects of bad habits because that’s just what humans do is a race to the bottom mentality. It’s at the core of the finance quandary
. Encourage bad habits by paying for them, and you get bad habits. Nobody can sustain that model of third party financing.
Would you insure a house who’s participants stated up front they would burn it down? Would you insure a car from a driver who said he would intentionally drive it into a brick wall? If not, why would you buy insurance for people who intentionally did things we know destroys them?
The CEO of Whole Foods should be hoisted onto the podium next to Obama for all the world to applaud. Obama should declare a God given right to live healthy (and he should quit smoking for good) and a God given right to pay more for your insurance if you don’t. It’s about personal responsibility. It’s not about handing you a plate of free insurance and saying go smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*