Healthcare Revolution

Europe is able to have successful and affordable Healthcare, so why can’t we. Well, the answer might be right on the tip of our tongues. We have an obesity rate of 64.5% vs. a 27% and 38% obesity rate for European females and males, respectively. (The European obesity rate is increasing at an alarming rate due to what I believe is due to poorer nutrition, the increase of fast food chains, and to many extents, the McDonaldization of Society, where quality is substituted for quantity). I found a brilliant analysis of the single problem we have with Healthcare and what must be done to change it in this Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. The author, Michael Pollan points out that the single biggest problem with Healthcare is not the system itself but America’s food industry, “a second even more powerful industry,” even more powerful than Insurance. The American diet most clearly leads to health problems in the future.  Super size meals, dollar menus, pound burritos, pretty much everything the Fast Food Industry puts on the table is fodder for the Healthcare industry. Even the salads and healthier food they have put on the menu aren’t as healthy as they appear to be. A salad with heavy dressing is over 1000 calories (like a Chipotle Burrito), and most people, because they think salad is healthy will get fries to complement said salad. You can thank the drive thru for that Type 2 diabetes as well as the fact that you have no insurance. And sure, to an lower to average income American eating 3 burgers, fries and a soda for as much as you would pay for a cup of fruit and a bagel is very tempting. What must be done aside from fixing the Healthcare system of its flaws is to tackle the giant food system and the American way of eating. By providing Americans with cost-effective and healthy eating, we will decrease the burden we are putting on the Healthcare system. If we get the health insurance industry involved in the fight over the farm bill, which they certainly will because they see the profits in having a healthy population, then we can see a true step forward for Healthcare Reform and cutting Healthcare costs.  While Pollan believes the fight should be between “Big Food and Big Insurance,” I also believe that the Healthcare Industry will side with Big Food since it throws money their way.   It looks like a we have a battle of the bigs, I hope us little ones just don’t get lost in the fog.



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