In his latest Op-Ed for the Times, Michael Pollan sounds an optimistic note that even the worst case health care reforms will result in positive changes to the diets, and health, of most Americans. It will be a hard fight, but it’s expected that the bare minimum health care reform will make it harder for insurance companies to drop you when you get sick, while also not allowing them to decide to cover you or not based on preexisting conditions. This means, that for the first time, health insurance providers will actually be financially rewarded for keeping you healthy. If they have to face the consequences ($$$) of your soda drinking ass getting diabetes, they’re going to do what they can to make sure you don’t get diabetes, and they’re going to use their friends in Congress to help them.
But these rules may well be about to change â€” and, when it comes to reforming the American diet and food system, that step alone could be a game changer. Even under the weaker versions of health care reform now on offer, health insurers would be required to take everyone at the same rates, provide a standard level of coverage and keep people on their rolls regardless of their health. Terms like â€œpre-existing conditionsâ€ and â€œunderwritingâ€ would vanish from the health insurance rulebook â€” and, when they do, the relationship between the health insurance industry and the food industry will undergo a sea change.