Whole Foods CEO Regrets Calling Obamacare Fascism

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has gone back on his comments likening Obamacare to “fascism,” softening his message during an interview with CBS This Morning. During an interview with NPR Wednesday, Mackey suggested that President Obama’s healthcare reforms were a form of fascism, restricting open market healthcare. Thursday morning, he acknowledged the strength of the language he had used, but did not retract his criticism of the program.

Well, I think that was a bad choice of words on my part … that word has an association with of course dictatorships in the 20th century like Germany and Spain, and Italy,” Mackey told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.
“What I know is that we no longer have free enterprise capitalism in health care, it’s not a system any longer where people are able to innovate, it’s not based on voluntary exchange. The government is directing it. So we need a new word for it. I don’t know what they right word is.”

Mackey has a history of opposing Obamacare, dating back to a 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, where he identified the reforms as socialist in nature. The co-author of Conscious Capitalism, Mackey feels that health care solutions should be let to an open market. Obamacare opponents have also criticized the law’s requirement that businesses with over 50 employees provide health insurance for their full-time workers.

He does not oppose all of the Obama administrations endeavors however, and spoke warmly of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiatives, an objective the Wholefoods CEO is dedicated to as well. Mackey is a vegan, and his supermarket chain has become synonymous with healthy eating and organic food in America.

“People in America are addicted to sugar, and to fat and to salt,” he told NPR. “Food is intensely pleasurable, and people are afraid that if they change the way they eat, they’ll stop having pleasure.”


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