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September 10th, 2009 By | News | Posted In: Healthcare Reform, Protests, Labor Unions, President Obama

Reform Supporters Protest Local Grocery

A coalition of 40 tri-state churches is joining forces with a local labor union to stage a protest today at the Whole Foods Market in Norwood.

The AMOS Project and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 75 will meet at 6 p.m. at the Whole Foods store. Their action is part of a nationwide effort to oppose a recent editorial written by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

In the article, Mackey opposed President Obama’s proposed health care reform plan and instead recommended private-sector solutions like tax credits. Also, he recommended abolishing regulations that require private insurance companies to offer coverage to certain populations.

Perhaps Mackey’s most controversial assertion was that health care is not a guaranteed right for U.S. citizens.

It read, “While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter? Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges."

During the next few weeks, The AMOS Project and the union also will distribute information to shoppers about what they described as inaccuracies in Mackey’s editorial.

“Health care reform in this country needs to bring all people in. This will happen if reform includes choices between private and public health insurance plans, increases affordability for all families, and makes insurance companies play fair, as outlined in the current proposals,” said the Rev. Gregory Chandler, AMOS Project president.

“Health savings accounts, like those proposed by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, only leave people struggling on their own and without many options,” Chandler added.

The local Whole Foods store is located at 2693 Edmondson Road, near the Rookwood Commons shopping center.

Whole Foods is the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods, and is the 10th largest food and drug store chain nationwide. It reported $1.8 billion in sales for its most recent quarter.

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