NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 14, 2009

With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009 and both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to increase, we are rapidly running out of other people's money.  These deficits are simply not sustainable.  But the last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement, says John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.

Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving toward less government control and more individual empowerment.  Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

  • Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
  • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay high insurance costs.
  • Make treatment costs transparent.
  • Enact Medicare reform.
  • Revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help people who have no insurance and aren't covered by government programs.

Furthermore, 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, says Mackey.

We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health.  Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society, says Mackey.

Source: John Mackey, "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare," Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2009.

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