In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Michael Pollan chimes in on the healthcare debate. Bringing attention to the elephant in the room, he says there's a disconnect between two very related industries: food and healthcare. When three-quarters of heathcare spending goes to "preventable chronic disease" linked to diet, according to the Center for Disease Control, you'd think someone would connect the dots.
Right now there's a lot contributing to the political hairball that is the food industry, but he says it may not always be that way, especially if the rules change on insurance companies. Without the option of dropping clients based on a "pre-existing condition," there's new incentive to prevent costly diseases and keep clients healthier. And as Pollan says, "Suddenly, every can of soda or Happy Meal or chicken nugget on a school lunch menu will look like a threat to future profits." It's that shift that will get the ball rolling on food industry reform. And from there we can really start talking about solving our health care crisis.
For more from Pollan, check out his 2008 open letter to Obama about proposing a new post: Farmer in Chief.