Safeway's Burd Renews Calls for Health Care Reform

LAS VEGAS—Noting that he had recently met with two of the three remaining presidential candidates to discuss Safeway’s success in lowering healthcare costs for its employees, Steve Burd, chairman and chief executive officer of Safeway, yesterday reiterated his call for market-based healthcare reform here during his keynote address at the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2008 trade show.

LAS VEGAS — Noting that he had recently met with two of the three remaining presidential candidates to discuss Safeway’s success in lowering health care costs for its employees, Steve Burd, chairman and chief executive officer of Safeway, yesterday reiterated his call for market-based health care reform here during his keynote address at the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2008 trade show. “Produce is the medicine cabinet of the future, there’s no better business to be in,” Burd said to a round of applause, explaining that Safeway has reduced costs partly by encouraging employees to adopt healthier lifestyles. As has been widely reported, Burd is opposed to nationalized health care, and believes that, if market forces can be brought to bear on the country’s current, inefficient system, costs could be drastically reduced — up to 40%, he claims — and quality care will be affordable to everyone in the country.

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