INSKEEP: You expressed concern at one time about socialism. Do you think that this is socialism?
MACKEY: Well, it depends on our definitions, here. Technically speaking, it's more like fascism. Socialism is where that 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 the health care program and with these reforms. So I'd say the system's becoming more fascist, or corporatism.
INSKEEP: Corporatism. Isn't, though, a little like a building code, though? The government sets standards, and companies that want to do business need to meet those standards. Where does that analogy fall short?
MACKEY: It falls short because if the government's going to tell Whole Foods Market exactly what our health care plan has to look like or it doesn't qualify, then we don't really - no longer have an opportunity to customize our plan for our team member's needs. We can no longer be flexible. We're basically just carrying out the government's orders.
INSKEEP: Suppose the president picked up the phone and called you up and said, look, I'm not going to repeal this health care law. It's passed the Supreme Court. I've won reelection. I'm not going to repeal it, but I'm willing to look at changes to it that will make it better. Is there one thing that you would suggest that the president do to take this law that you dislike and make it at least a little better?
MACKEY: Well, that's good question. I would say everything that rolls back the bureaucrats telling you exactly how it must be would be positive. The government shouldn't tell everybody how the insurance must be or how the doctors must treat people. Instead, if the government wants to provide a safety net for our poor people who can't afford insurance to buy insurance, then they should provide that safety net.
I don't object to that. That's fine. It's just these fascist directives that the government's handing down about how it will be and how corporations must do it that I object to. And I think it's going to raise costs, and it's not going to be a good thing on balance.