Bob Franken

The Health Care Debate: A Guide for Foodies


As the economy shows signs of recovering and the health care debate rages, it’s time to consider new financial opportunities. A certain moneymaker would be a firm that specializes in catering town-hall meetings. Shouldn’t there be a cornucopia of rotten fruits, vegetables and eggs to throw at each other?

What better way to take advantage of the fact that August is not only “Trash Your Congressman” month, but the height of tomato season as well. There are far too many to eat, and they’re easy to throw. (Tomatoes, not congressmen.) Some enterprising entrepreneur will recognize a great secondary market, even if it is a farmer’s market.

While it is true the phrase “food fight” never appears in the Constitution, we shouldn’t let the purists dissuade us. Furious debate is as American as apple pie. Come to think of it, won’t we need some baked goods? You can’t “pie” anyone without a pie, after all.

If you think this is facetious, you’re obviously a skeptic. But is spoiled food any more ridiculous to hurl than the rotten distortions the manipulators are spewing out, drowning out any possibility of understanding health care reform? Our system is sick right now, and the extremists keep injecting poison. Someone may as well take advantage of all this to make sure that the partisan hacks are not the only rotten apples involved.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania could start calling himself “Senator Piñata” if he continues to stand in front of crowds that beat on him with emotional diatribes. The hostilities are being fed (I’m desperately trying to maintain the food analogy here) by fear that citizens are losing control, that sinister someones are stealing their way of life, along with the money they need to live it.

If need be, the protesters could turn to regulators’ deadly confusion over contaminated meat and vegetables as proof that government is too incompetent to take over anything as complex and vital as health care. They have no appetite for substance on this issue. It’s tough to swallow anyway.

The question is: Have we gotten to the point where no one wants to ponder the food for thought? Would they rather throw it? Come to think of it, forget the business idea. There are plenty out there who are already catering to them.

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