The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

CEO Offers Healthcare Ideas Prior to S.C. Town Halls

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Whole Foods CEO John Mackey released an alternative health reform proposal in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey released an alternative health reform proposal in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, the gourmet grocery store chain, is offering up an alternative health care reform to the various proposals circulating Congress. He proposed 8 ways to drastically improve health care in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week – without bringing in additional government control.

Mackey’s op-ed has drawn attention and praise from a variety of groups, including an article by the Cato Institute. After all, Whole Foods pays 100% of premiums for employees who work more than 30 hours per week. They even provide up to $1,800 per year for employees to use on health care – money that can be deposited in a Health Savings Account to rollover from year-to-year.

These arguments resonate close to home, as there are two Whole Foods stores in South Carolina – one in Mt. Pleasant, and one in Greenville. The company’s workers have a reputation for talking about how great their healthcare coverage is: no complaints of “evil insurance companies” from these folks.

The arguments raised by Mackey should be placed on the pillows of every politician in Washington. Two of his ideas in particular are simple, easy fixes to problems in health care currently caused by the government.

  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.
  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

South Carolinians have a chance to voice their own opinions about health reform in a number of town hall meetings set up across the state over the next few weeks.

If you’re interested in attending, here is a list of local town hall events:

Rep. Bob Inglis
Mauldin City Hall
Mauldin, SC 29662
Monday, August 3, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

Cowpens Library
Cowpens, SC 29330
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Start Time: 6:30 PM

Upstate Family Resource Center
Boiling Springs, SC 29316
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

Sue Cleveland Elementary School
Piedmont, SC 29673
Monday, August 17, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

Travelers Rest Library
Travelers Rest, SC 29390
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

R.D. Anderson Applied Tech. Ctr.
Moore, SC 29369
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

New Prospect Elem. School
Inman, SC 29349
Monday, August 24, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

Lake Forest Elementary
Greenville, SC 29615
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Start Time: 7:00 PM

Senator Jim DeMint
Town Hall Breakfast on Daniel Island in Charleston at 8 AM on Monday August 17.
Town Hall Lunch at Rioz in Myrtle Beach at noon on Wed. August 19.
Town Hall Breakfast at Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville at 8 AM on Thurs. August 20.
Town Hall Lunch at Wade’s Restaurant in Spartanburg at noon on Thurs. August 20.
Town Hall Breakfast at Sunset Grill in West Columbia at 8 AM on Friday August 21.
Town Hall Lunch in Sun City Carolina Lakes near Lancaster, SC at noon on Fri. August 21.

Representative Joe Wilson
Keenan High School Gymnasium
361 Pisgah Church Road, Columbia 29203
6-7 p.m. on Aug.17

Lexington Town Hall
111 Maiden Lane, Lexington SC 29072
6-7 p.m. on August 2o

USC Beaufort North Campus
Performing Arts Center
801 Carteret Street, Beaufort
10 a.m. on August 22

Hilton Head High School
Visual and Performing Arts Center
70 Wilborn Rd, Hilton Head
2:30 pm on August 22


Written by Geoff Pallay

August 13, 2009 at 12:01 pm

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