A couple of days ago, I noted that the CEO of Whole Foods Market had called ObamaCare a type of fascism. My column in today’s American Spectator discusses how the thought police have cowed him into walking back that statement. This is what he originally said:

Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.

This outraged the Obamazombies, of course, particularly the President’s toad eaters in the “news” media. So, within a couple of days, he was saying things like this:

Well, I think that was a bad choice of words on my part … I don’t know what the right word is.

And this:

I regret using that word now because it’s got so much baggage attached to it … I think I’m going to use the phrase government-controlled health care.

What a wimp. He was right the first time but didn’t have the courage to stand up to the media bullies who jumped all over him for his thought crime. To read the rest of this pathetic tale, click here.

Comments 6

  1. Lindsay wrote:

    Read Steven Brill’s article in the lastest Time magazine. The capitalist free market doesn’t work when it comes to health care. It seems that the only segment of the health care market that’s even moderately reasonable price-wise is the Medicare segment. See Paul Buchheit’s article at Americans now have a shorter life expectancy than almost all other developed countries. A National Research Council study placed the United States LAST among 17 high-income countries. 50 million Americans can’t afford the price of health insurance. A 2007 study at the Harvard Medical School found that 62 percent of US bankruptcies were a result of medical expenses. The system is broke, broke, BROKE! and must be fixed. For those of you who still think that the US has the best medical system in the world, think again! People on Medicare fare better than those on private insurance and with no insurance. Perhaps the solution, call it what you will, is Medicare for all.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 4:57 pm
  2. Diogenes wrote:

    I read the Brill thing and it is horse manure. Using anecdotes to address a systemic issue is idiotic and typical of Time and the author.

    Neither he nor the author of the article to which you link have a ckue how hospitals or the health care system works.

    The prices both of these numbskulls quote are obvious outliers and have nothing whatever to do with what is actually paid by Medicare, private insurance or individuals.

    In reality, half of he hospitals in this country are losing money on patient care. And that is primarily due to government meddling in the medical delivery system.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 6:41 am
  3. Lindsay wrote:

    Diogenes, your mis-characterization of Brill’s article indicates that you probably _didn’t_ read it. Yes, there are a number of anecdotes in the article. There are also many verifiable references to real studies and statistics from the US Census Bureau, the National Research Council and others. Brill also makes some very solid arguments for his positions which you make no effort to rebut or discuss, but instead resort to calling Brill and Buchheit names which, as you and I both know, does nothing to support your position but rather illustrates the fact that it’s based on emotion rather than reason. Yes, I agree with you that much of what gets published in Time is vapid and devoid of much journalistic value, but occasionally they do come out with something with real substance, and Brill’s article is one such piece, whether you agree with his positions or not.

    Can you give a reference for your claim that “half the hospitals in the country are losing money”? And if it’s true, then why is it that in other countries the same treatments and drugs are much less costly than in the US and hospitals are not losing money? Certainly many other countries, such as Germany, have even more government involvement in health care than is the case in the US. I believe Germany has something like a single payer system, and I haven’t heard that the hospitals there are losing money. Pharmaceutical companies, which Brill singles out along with hospitals as driving the high cost of medical care, are certainly not losing money. Ask any stock investor. It seems that when “government meddling” has come into play in the US, as with Medicare, prices of medical treatment are much more reasonable than for a single, uninsured individual. I can testify to this from personal experience. I don’t have to read a magazine article come up with this observation.

    Whatever you think about the merits of capitalism and a free market economy, Brill argues forcefully that free market economics don’t work with medical care, and gives his reasons and logic for this position. Perhaps you would care to address his reasons and logic rather than just calling him names.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 10:11 am
  4. Diogenes wrote:

    This trend was obvious as far back as 2009:

    Things have actually gotten worse since then. And when Medicare and other government payers are involved, the loss rates are even higher.

    If you prefer a more conservative figure, the AHA puts the in-the-red hospitals at about a third (but that includes non-patient revenue). All of this is old news. It wouldn’t surprise you if you weren’t too lazy to do your homework.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 7:30 pm
  5. Lindsay wrote:

    Thank you for the references, which I shall read and consider. It would have been appropriate for you to post them in the first place, but since you didn’t, and seem to be intent on name calling, I’m outa here. This isn’t a discussion, it’s a flame fest ;)

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 9:09 pm
  6. Bob Hertz wrote:

    Hospitals are in fact losing money because they are overbuilt, over-mortgaged, over-equpped, overstaffed, and at many levels the personnel are overpaid.

    American medicine has found many ways to shorten or even eliminate hospital stays in the last 20 years. This is due to wonder drugs and ambulatory surgery above all.

    Hospital staffs and budgets should have shrunk.

    Instead they have doubled or more in many locales. Find a hospital that has not had a new bed tower built in recent years, or has not added several levels of professional staff.

    Hospitals have survived this by relentless upcoding, i.e. manipulating the fee schedule.
    Medicare and most insurance companies are very dumb payers.

    Hospitals have defied normal economics for some time.

    It is very tough to solve this. Our surplus of over-equipped hospitals means that Americans with good insurance have about the shortest waits for surgery anywhere in the world.

    But in any event, it is possible for a hospital to be overcharging and losing money.

    Posted 14 Mar 2013 at 8:41 pm

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