Whole Foods CEO regrets calling Obama health law 'fascism'

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey said he regrets describing President Obama's healthcare law as "more like fascism" in a recent interview.

Mackey is a libertarian and a longtime critic of the Affordable Care Act. He penned his mea culpa in a blog post Thursday.

"I made a poor word choice to describe our healthcare system, which I definitely regret," Mackey wrote. 

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"The term fascism today stirs up too much negative emotion with its horrific associations in the 20th century … I think for now I will simply call [the Obama law] government-controlled healthcare." 


The "fascism" comment made waves earlier this week. Mackey had previously compared the Obama law to socialism, drawing backlash from customers. 


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"Technically speaking, it's more like fascism," Mackey said of the Affordable Care Act during an interview with NPR. "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."

During a follow-up interview, Mackey told CBS he made a "bad choice of words," but continued criticizing the healthcare law.

"What I know is we no longer have free-enterprise capitalism in healthcare," he said. "It's not a system where people are able to innovate."

Mackey is currently on a media tour promoting his new book.