The Whole Foods Health Plan has been endorsed by Kathleen Parker, mainly because it’s really, really American.
Instead of trying to revamp every aspect of the health-care system, Congress should follow Mackey’s lead and tackle a few fixable problems with consensus and support from Americans, who, though frustrated with the status quo, aren’t quite ready to surrender self-determination.
Mackey’s ideas aren’t necessarily the only route, but they offer a path that is pro-market, pro-individual and pro-choice — all concepts that are organic to America and, like spinach, good for you.
We live in a nation which spends more than any other on its military, which has comprehensive public education from kindergarten through graduate school, has public police forces and fire departments, has Medicare and Social Security and maintains any number of other socialized programs. There is a reason that we have these programs, and that reason is that the alternatives are bad for you. You don’t have a choice about paying for the fire department because having market-based private fire protection would be a terribly burny idea. We have comprehensive public education because even with market-based private choices, we recognize that it’s a terrible thing for society if we have a permanent underclass of children who are consigned to illiteracy. Americans, I have faith, truly enjoy it when society as a whole does not screw over people who could potentially be them.
We heavily regulate markets. We imprison more people per capita than any nation on Earth. Americans enjoy the state taking care of problems when they’re convinced that those problems could hurt them; the surest way to accomplish that with healthcare is to revitalize the American health insurance system to promote hugely expensive low-coverage insurance that’s virtually impossible to use if you’re unemployed or if it’s just a mild form of cancer. If it’s uniquely American to do incredibly stupid, costly things when better, cheaper solutions are directly in front of you…oh, hello, Dallas Cowboys!