Saturday, October 18, 2008
"Joe the Celiac"
For readers of this blog, the good news about the 2008 presidential election might be that both of the major party candidates seem to be sympathetic to the needs of gluten-free people.
During the third debate, John McCain made the point that his running mate Sarah Palin is attuned to the concerns of "special needs" families. And one of McCain and Palin's more prominent supporters is Jane Swift, who is said to have celiac disease herself.
During the debate, Barack Obama echoed McCain in expressing concern for "special needs" families. But when it came to health care and budget policies, there was a clear difference between the two candidates.
McCain talked about freezing the budget and making cuts using a "hatchet" approach, while Obama stressed the importance of using a "scalpel" approach that might even allow for greater allocations for some worthy programs. Furthermore, he supported universal health care for children and preventative medicine as a way of controlling costs over the long run.
Obama's positions should have great appeal for people on gluten-free and other medical diets. As discussed previously on this blog, the FDA needs more support to safeguard our food and drug supply from contamination and ensure that labels are trustworthy. Furthermore, in a nation where the vast majority of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed, the medical and financial benefits of preventative medicine and universal health care for children could be substantial.
No matter who wins the election, advocates for people with celiac disease might be able to make inroads through the Oval Office based on the principles espoused by the candidates during their campaigns. Gluten-Free NYC happens to favor Barack Obama for many reasons including the positions mentioned above, but if you'd like to share your own gluten-free "Joe the Celiac" or "Jane the Celiac" perspective feel free to do so here!
Photo: David Marc Fischer