Creative Commons License photo credit: Andreanna

John Mackey–Should He Really Be Fired?

There is now a facebook group with 28,000 or so members, calling for John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods to be fired for his Wall Street Journal opinion editorial on health reform. I believe that even if someone disagrees with his prescription for improving America’s health, in a free society we all deserve to have a say on public policy issues of the day.  A better solution will emerge from a full exploration of the issues.

The boycott staged by angry proponents of the health reform bills, and those who who want Mackey fired, are trying to intimidate open debate and silence those who don’t agree with them.

By shutting down discourse and not fully debating all the issues, the U.S. of A will be the big loser. Political correctness is anathema to the First Amendment, the enemy of freedom of thought.

Thankfully, other voices of reason are stepping up to share other nuances about health reform that need to be considered.

Do You Want to Censor These Guys Too?  If So, Then You Really Need to Listen Even Harder to What They are Saying

Last night, Larry King Live interviewed Dr. Andrew Weil about the health reform proposals. Weil had some very interesting comments, such as he was not in favor of putting more money into a system that promoted pharmaceutical drugs so heavily. He pointed out that pharmaceuticals have a higher markup than any other commodity.  By the way, you all should see the Star Island mansion in Miami Beach, owned by the Pharma King who has the patent on Viagra. It is the biggest home on the island, eclipsing the homes of hollywood stars, music biz celebrities and NBA basketball stars. And do you actually know anyone who will admit to taking that drug?  Think about it.

“We need a deeper change than health reform, we need to become a healthier nation.”–Dr. Andrew Weil

I was thrilled to hear Dr. Weil echo Weston A. Price chapter leader, Janice Curtains #1 wish in her recent article, How to Cut the Cost of Health Care, that the U.S. should immediately end all television ads for pharma drugs.  We are the only nation besides New Zealand, he added, that allows such a thing. When you consider the cost of all that advertising (and they do dominate the airwaves), you might see why the markup on drugs is so aggressive. And, why Americans are so in the thrall of drug based solutions to their health problems.

He proposes the medical community start implementing low tech, cheaper approaches to disease, such as nutrition, exercise, herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements. He wants these lower cost treatments brought into the mainstream.  He says insurance companies are eager to reimburse for expensive drugs but loathe to reimburse for alternative health approaches.

Weil also assessed our nation’s approach to health as too heavily weighted toward intervention with not enough emphasis on prevention.

My favorite quote from the interview was, “Pharmaceutical companies are capitalizing on the mindset that the only legitimate treatment for health problems are drugs, how did we get to the point where doctors and patients all believe this?”

Hellooo! This is what I’ve been blogging about. Dr. Weil, you are welcome to blog for Natural Cures Tuesday anytime!

ho_fastfoodThe next voice of reason is Michael Pollan, who weighs in with the 800 lb gorilla totally ignored in the health care debate.  His opinion editorial yesterday says how can we target health insurance companies for reform, yet ignore the glaring reality that our food manufacturers may be at the root of this disease quagmire our nation is in. Hurray, Michael.  Here is a link to Pollan’s New York Times opinion editorial.

And, finally, Ron Paul, a medical doctor turned Congressman expresses doubts that this plan won’t bankrupt an already bankrupt nation. Here is the You Tube video of his comments on Larry King Live.

I am thankful these other voices have weighed in on this important issue, and hopefully we will end up with a rational solution to America’s health care woes. And, just maybe, Americans will take a good hard look at ourselves and decide to take better care of our individual health. Perhaps America will find its way to being a strong and truly healthy nation again…I can dream, can’t I?

And, perhaps the lynch mob will pipe down.  You can’t boycott Pollan (he’s a writer) and Weil is so wildly popular that it will be hard to stir up outrage against him. And Ron Paul, chances are they are not registered to vote in his state.

Kudos to Larry King to exploring the depths of this debate and not reducing it to partisan political sound bytes.

Photo credit- Ominvores Dilemma: jwalsh

This post has been submitted to the Fight Back Fridays blog carnival, see more fighting words, here!