Saturday, December 19, 2009

John Stossel's show on Healthcare

There are very few diamonds in the television dungheap.

John Stossel's new show, Stossel, is one of them. Thursday's show featured John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, and it was excellent. It will probably repeat on FoxBusiness a couple of more times. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to libertarianism, you owe it to John Stossel's ratings, and you owe it to the planet to Tivo this show every week. You owe it to third world countries. Think of The Children. It's the closest thing to a libertarian TV program that I've seen.

If you don't know his story, Mackey recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal advocating a more free market approach to healthcare. All of Mackey's proposals were simple, inexpensive, and fair. The ThoughtPolice were outraged, of course, and called for a boycott of Whole Foods.
(Whole Foods is the leading organic/locally grown/health food outlet in the U.S. Whole Foods' customers, until recently, didn't know that the Whole Foods CEO was a Libertarian who voted for Bob Barr in the most recent election, and who also contributes large chunks of money to Reason magazine. God bless him. He's doing more for humanity through his charitable work than he's ever done by providing locally grown organic arugula to the socially aware shoppers of Highland Park, TX. Please hit both of those links if time permits.)

Mackey claims that since the boycott, sales have actually increased. I intend to go to the Arlington TX store this morning for the first time ever. Guess why?

Stossel also had the leader of the Whole Foods boycott on the program, a guy who mostly fumed and sputtered and expressed his outrage. There are all sorts of links to various TV shows and resources on the boycott site, but there's no mention of this dude's appearance on Stossel's program. Mostly because John Mackey carved the poor guy up into tiny bite-sized organic pieces, doused them with a locally-grown marinade, and ate them (with sustainably produced utensils).

Last week, Stossel showed how you can get the taxpayers to buy you a free golf cart via the Cash For Clunkers scam. This week, he explained why you are insured for a free electric wheelchair, whether you want to be insured for one or not. (You are probably eligible ! ! Even if you aren't handicapped ! ! Our operators are standing by ! ! Call now ! ! Dial 1-800-WE-LOBBIED-FOR-IT ! !)

The program closed with a short piece on Lasik eye surgery. In the past ten years, the cost of a Lasik procedure on one eye has dropped from more than $2,000 to somewhere around $1,000, despite a near-doubling of all other medical costs.


Because Lasik isn't not covered by insurance, so people shop around. If the price isn't right, fewer people elect to have the procedure done. Lasik is one of the few free market medical procedures. Doctors have to compete for the business. Customers care about the cost. Therefore, the cost is dropping.

Stossel. FoxBusiness. Go to the Tivo now. Program it to record.

One other my previous post about Stossel, I mentioned that all of the audience questions were hostile. I kinda like that.
Others disagree. Go to Stossel's blog for a discussion.
Full Disclosure: See those display fixtures Mackey is standing near? I think they were made by my employer, Jukt Micronics.


Fester said...

I am not sure if they will keep the audience or not. I don't mind the audience, I think it helps reflect the true nature of presenting libertarian ideas to a mass audience. You will encounter much opposition, but you must just continue on. People are really indoctrinated well into the statist mindset.

I thought this show was a harder sell to the audience than the AGW show last week. I think the main reason being that the audience did not seem to absorb the point being made that nobody is really happy with the current system and the only real difference is the approach to “reform”. To those of us who believe in the power of the individual to make good decisions, believe that people should have more individual power over their healthcare choices, and those who distrust individuals and trust the government believe that government can make better choices than individuals. However, no government solution being proposed directs more power to individuals, they either favor more government power or more insurance power.

damon said...

I just happend upon Stossel's show last night and absolutely loved it. Got the DVR setup to automagically record the show as well.

I found the audience rather comical, on both sides. While it adds to the show, the "Dude or Chick" question kept bouncing in my head on the friend of greenie.

Anyhow Good show, a little awkward at times with the back and forth. Too bad Mackey isn't better spoken than he is. The other lady, name escapes me, did well to refute the audience questions. The fact remains that the Free Market is not in effect in our current health care system, as Mackey tried to impress on the viewers.

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