"Whole Foods CEO: Obamacare Is ‘Like Fascism’"
In an interview with NPR, Whole Foods CEO and self-professed libertarian John Mackey revived his previous criticism of Obamacare — but this time, with a new twist. While Mackey incorrectly denounced the landmark health reform law as “socialism” in a controversial 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed, the multimillionaire CEO has revised his assessment and now considers Obamacare — also incorrectly — to be closer to “fascism”:
“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 healthcare programs and these reforms.”
Although fascist nations do often control their “means of production,” Mackey seems to have forgotten that they usually utilize warfare, forced mass mobilization of the public, and politically-motivated violence against their own peoples to achieve their ends. By contrast, Obamacare regulates some of the insurance industry’s shoddiest practices and imposes a small tax penalty on Americans who refuse to purchase government-subsidized private insurance.
That hasn’t stopped other conservative critics of Obamacare from making similar statements. In 2011, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum decried that America was falling into the throes of fascism, and that the health reform law was its “final death knell.”
After the controversy generated by his comments, Mackey revised his statement further today and admitted that he made a “bad choice of language” since fascism is usually associated with World War II-era Nazi Germany, Spain, and Italy. He went on to say that he still believes Obamacare saps away “free enterprise capitalism” from the health care industry.