Scrap the bureaucracy and technocracy.
Getting to the root of health care reform in America doesn’t require a 2,000-page document and almost a trillion dollars in increased government spending.
You want real health care reform that actually cuts costs, leads to increased health, and cures root problems rather than plucking leaves off the diseased tree of American governance?
Simple: Stop all farm subsidies.
- The government subsidizes crops, particularly corn.
- This leads to overproduction.
- Surplus grains are used to 1) produce highly-processed foods, and 2) feed cattle and other livestock, which increases our meat intake.
- These processed foods and abundance of corn-fed, highly-fatty meat substantially contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases and health issues.
- The government then wants to tax us to take care of all these problems.
As journalist Michael Pollan details in “this New York Times article:
“…the shift from supporting agricultural prices to subsidizing much lower prices has been a boon to agribusiness companies because it slashes the cost of their raw materials. That’s why Big Food, working with the farm-state Congressional delegations it lavishly supports, consistently lobbies to maintain a farm policy geared to high production and cheap grain…
“But as we’re beginning to recognize, our cheap-food farm policy comes at a high price: first there’s the $19 billion a year the government pays to keep the whole system afloat; then there’s the economic misery that the dumping of cheap American grain inflicts on farmers in the developing world; and finally there’s the obesity epidemic at home — which most researchers date to the mid-70′s, just when we switched to a farm policy consecrated to the overproduction of grain.
“Since that time, farmers in the United States have managed to produce 500 additional calories per person every day; each of us is, heroically, managing to pack away about 200 of those extra calories per day…”
Yes, I understand health care is more complicated than this and that other factors are involved.
Still, I’m confident that this one step would have far greater and longer-lasting impact on the health of our citizens than the maze of legislation found in Obamacare and other similar proposals.
The first and worst casualty of “expert culture” is the simplicity of common sense.
Beneath the layers of complexity, our problems are much simpler than specialized technocrats and myopic bureaucrats would have us believe.
Recommended Books, Articles, Movies, & TV
- “The Way We Live Now: 10-12-03; The (Agri)Cultural Contradictions Of Obesity” by Michael Pollan in the New York Times
- “You are What You Grow” by Michael Pollan in the New York Times
- “Back to Grass” by Corby Kummer in The Atlantic
- “10 Reasons to Cut Farm Subsidies” by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- The Future of Food
- Food, Inc.
- King Corn
- Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
- More Resources on Sustainable Agriculture