John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, as an alternative healthcare reform plan proposes eight commonsense reforms. They include equalizing the tax benefit of employer-based health insurance with individual health insurance, making it easier to secure high-deductible health insurance policies, transparency in healthcare pricing, and reform to Medicare among others.
I endorse each and every one of his proposals. However, I don’t think they’ll be enough. Healthcare reform is a case in which we really need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We need insurance reform, tempering of demand, and an increase in the supply of healthcare, all at the same time.
To Mr. Mackey’s proposals I’d add reforms to medical education (not only of physicians but of nurses, PA’s, and other personnel), changes in the pharmaceutical testing and approval processes, a ban on the advertising of prescription medications to consumers, and reforms making it easier to open new hospitals and clinics and encouraging competition among them.
It’s a lot to do all at once but when you’ve neglected something for as long as we have whether it’s a house or a healthcare system you’re going to need to do a lot of repair.