Having made a controversial statement comparing Obamacare to socialism in 2009, Whole Food's Founder John Mackey told National Public Radio
that the massive healthcare overhaul is "more like fascism."
In an interview that airs Wednesday in two parts, Mackey, a self-described libertarian, was asked by NPR's Steve Inskeep to revisit his 2009 assertion that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is socialist.
Mackey responded, "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."
Mackey first voiced his views about President Barack Obama's signature healthcare policies in an August 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed
"While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system," he wrote.
Mackey began the editorial with a former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's quote: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
Mackey's strong opposition to Obama's original legislation is surprising to many, considering Whole Foods is a favorite among Democrats, many of who support the legislation. Whole Foods' popularity among liberals is largely due to their role in making the food chain's organic foods mainstream.
This isn't the first time an executive of a large franchise has publicly admitted political or social beliefs. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy caused quite a stir this summer when he spoke out against gay marriage and asserted that his company supports traditional, "biblical families."
Despite his objection to Obamacare, Mackey says he will work with the administration on another major issue that first lady Michelle Obama has made her pet project – the effort to reform the American diet in the fight against obesity.
"People in America are addicted to sugar, and to fat and to salt," Mackey told NPR, adding that the addiction holds us back as a nation. "Food is intensely pleasurable, and people are afraid that if they change the way they eat, they'll stop having pleasure," concluded Mackey.
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