Blaise Zerega: WATCH: Michael Pollan Sees Healthcare Reform Leading to Food System Changes

Call it the ‘Omnivore’s Health Care Dilemma.’

Michael Pollan wades into the issue of health care reform by looking, not surprisingly, at food. In conversation with journalist and urban farmer Novella Carpenter, he argues that health care reform and changes to American agriculture will go hand-in-hand.

“If we do get health care reform” and “health care companies can no longer pick and choose their clients,” say those who are obese or have type II diabetes, he argues, then the insurance companies would drive changes to our nation’s food supply. “They will have a powerful interest in prevention” and a person’s health over the long-term.

Given the power of the insurance lobby, Pollan’s “if” is a mighty big one, and it speaks to the enormity of the task facing President Obama. But he notes that this same lobby power could also be used to pressure healthful change from the House Agricultural Committee. For instance, a person with type II diabetes typically needs $500,000 treatment. If insurance companies were required to provide universal coverage, Pollan concludes “they will work very hard to reform the food system.”

Watch the full program at

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