Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How does food policy relate to health care?

Check out this editorial on Civil Eats. Paula Crossfield argues that all this health care hullabaloo really misses the mark. While liberals and conservatives are arguing about socialism and single payer systems and all this other crap that we can't understand from the proposed bill anyway, nobody has bothered to ask what's making us sick in the first place.

Why are people unhealthy? For those who see our food system as the magic bullet, the answer is pretty obvious. And while the food system is the number one contributor, bad urban planning is a big part (see Public Space). And Crossfield makes a great point about how financially dependent we are on The System and how that hurts our overall health.

Higher education is so expensive now that workers are bound to their workplace because of massive debt, feeling compelled to overwork in order to keep their health insurance, and therefore are too exhausted to cook. It’s all related.

The greatest strength of Crossfield's article is that she points out Obama's greatest weakness so far*: his inability to get the lobbyists out of Washington. Definitely no small task, but his pre-election rhetoric on this point was pretty strong. All you have to do to figure out why which politicians are aligning themselves on which sides of this issue is to follow the money. You will inevitably find ties to the business interests that have a stake in the outcome.

To fix health care--to fix our lives--we need big changes. We can do everything we can on a local and personal level, but it would be nice to see Washington working with us on this rather than against us. For that, Washington is going to have some major surgery of its own. Let's see if Dr. Obama will really follow through on his diagnosis and cut out the tumor known as special interest lobbying.

*Keep in mind we're not even a year into his Presidency.

1 comment:

  1. You know I believe you are absolutely right, but do you have hope?