PCRM Presents Cost-Cutting Health Improvement Plan to Congress
As federal legislators wrangle over how best to handle the national debt, PCRM has urged lawmakers to reform food and agricultural programs to save billions of taxpayer dollars—and to fight obesity and other chronic diseases at the same time.
In a plan presented to Congress July 28, PCRM experts proposed eliminating agricultural direct-payment subsidies and making agricultural producers pay for their own crop insurance and pollution clean-up programs. Currently, federal funds support these programs and are a de-facto subsidy for meat, cheese, sugar, and other unhealthful foods.
The proposal also recommends reconfiguring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp program, to provide incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables and to exclude meat, candy, and other junk-food items from the program.
“Cutting subsidies for cheeseburgers and sodas will mean healthier people and a huge savings in the process,” said PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. “These reforms will save SNAP and will serve more people for less money with healthier food.”
The plan’s five major policy changes would save nearly $400 billion over the next decade.