Friday, September 11, 2009

14 hours

I fell asleep last night at 6:30 PM after I ate dinner. I meant to tell Peter to wake me at 7:30 PM to go jogging. Only I was asleep before I ever gave him the message. I did not wake up until 8:30 AM. 14 Hours of sleep! I must have needed to catch up, right? I do feel good today.

Actually, I woke up for the second time at 8:30 AM. I was rudely awakened at 5:30 AM when Theodore threw up. On my pillow. The pillow on which my head was gingerly resting. Is that not one of the most disgusting things you've heard today? Luckily none got on my face, head or hair. So I quickly cleaned up the chunks of partially digested cat food, stripped the bed and threw everything in the wash. Then Peter and I went to sleep for three more hours in the second bed room. Yeesh. Cat ownership has some downsides. But when he's not interrupting my sleep with his disgusting bodily fluids, he's actually quite charming.

Yesterday I read this article from the NY Times that made me very excited. It's by Michael Pollan (author of the Omnivore's dilemma and In Defense of Food). I really like and agree with a lot of his ideas. I have not read either of his books but I have read some of his articles and interviews.

Anways the article provides an interesting perspecive of the healthcare debate. Pollan discusses why certain health care reforms might galvanize the insurance industries to throw their financial weight behind reforms of our food industry. Our food industry being, according to Pollan, the root of many of our health problems. It's cheaper to buy junkfood than it is to buy an apple. This, of course, contributes to a host of health problems, like type 2 diabetes. Right now, insurance companies don't necessarily have incentive to keep people healthy. They can drop clients when they become sick, they can deny coverage due to preexisting conditions and they can impose lifetime caps on coverage.

But if insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny and to discontinue coverage they will have a huge financial reason to want the population as healthy as possible. They might put their enormous financial resources into improving, among other things, the way we eat.

Here is the article. It's not long and I found it interesting. Give it a read! Big Food vs. Big Insurance. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have!

1 comment:

johnrgriffin said...


Interesting article. I'd never quite thought about a way to tactfully place insurers in the corner of the ring supporting public health. It would be interesting to see such a thing happen, primarily because world wide giants like coca-cola would be hard-pressed to make their merchandise "healthy." Can you imagine TWO 5,000lb gorilla's going at it in the political lobbyist world? It's usually so one-sided...(big oil, or big-tobacco, etc.)

I had a lecture on this topic earlier in the week. Briefly, in a study of preventing Type II diabetes in adults, the most effective approach was (can you believe it)- diet and exercise! If insurers did, indeed, have an incentive to keep people healthy, America would be a different place.