Michael Pollan Wants to Reform Health Care, Too

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Our health-care problem is really an obesity crisis, Michael Pollan suggests in a Times op-ed today. “Even the most efficient health-care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet,” he writes. “The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care.” Reforming the food system is necessary but even harder, considering that “the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.” Pollan concludes that when insurance companies are no longer permitted to withhold coverage from people with pre-existing conditions, suddenly paying for obesity-related illnesses will be enough to align the industry with the food-reform movement. Food in this country simply won’t change without big business behind it — we just never thought that business would be the insurance industry. Could Pollan be on to something?

Big Food vs. Big Insurance [NYT]