September 10, 2009

More Bits Scraping

I typically don't like to follow a "Scraping" post - known in blogging venacular as a "digest" - with another "Scraping" post. But I'm all about breaking the rules these days.

To begin with...

This is the thing that is no good about having a young child involved in soccer: Games are always on Saturday, which interferes with our semi-occasional ritual of trips to the Strip District.

And now I have yet another very good reason to make it to the Strip: Peace, Love, and Little Donuts. According to the PG's China Millman, these little donuts are quite good.

And, it's official: I have a mad addiction to Extra Cheddar Flavor Blast goldfish. The snack crackers, that is.

I also have an addiction to beer. Among my favorite, most styles from Dogfish Head. Which reminds me, I need to pick up a 6 of the Punkin' Ale before it's gone.

In any case, the crazy guys at Dogfish have a new brew in the works. It involves purple corn... and human saliva. It's called chicha. The NY Times was there to watch it made. And thanks to the wonders of the Intertubes, you can too.

Speaking of the Times, Michael Pollan, per his usual, has a thought-provoking piece on how health-care reform is inextricably linked to food policy reform.

The moment these new rules take effect, health insurance companies will promptly discover they have a powerful interest in reducing rates of obesity and chronic diseases linked to diet. A patient with Type 2 diabetes incurs additional health care costs of more than $6,600 a year; over a lifetime, that can come to more than $400,000. Insurers will quickly figure out that every case of Type 2 diabetes they can prevent adds $400,000 to their bottom line. Suddenly, every can of soda or Happy Meal or chicken nugget on a school lunch menu will look like a threat to future profits.

When health insurers can no longer evade much of the cost of treating the collateral damage of the American diet, the movement to reform the food system — everything from farm policy to food marketing and school lunches — will acquire a powerful and wealthy ally, something it hasn’t really ever had before.

While it has its logic, I'm not sure I'm buying it. First, it assumes that, at the least, some weak form of reform will pass whereby pre-existing conditions are a thing of the past and there have to be standard rates. No one is saying those have to be affordable rates. Without some type of competition to bring down rates, would it be any surprise if rates for insurance just got higher, and priced out a lot of people (even if some form of subsidies are made available)?

And I don't see the insurers taking on Big Ag and the like. They would just find an easier way to keep their profits high. That's how they roll.


marzipanmom said...

Just wait 'til your kids try football! Talk about monopolizing your time! Let's just say we're into inline hockey now - much better!

Fillippelli the (Wannabe) Cook said...

If my wife has a say, there will be no football outside of what's played in the backyard.