Affordable Care Act. How much do you really know?

Preparing for the healthcare portion of the Romney/Obama debates.

Like most Americans, I know very little about the nation’s Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as ObamaCare. But I have a friend in Massachusetts who may know more about that law than any other human.

He also knows a great deal about RomneyCare and, like me, holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell. His name is Dr. John McDonough:

Dr. Mcdonough served seven terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has consulted with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Care Reform and is currently on the faculty of the Department of Public Health at Harvard University. He is a regular blogger for the Boston Globe and, like me, he is working daily to promote whole foods, plant-based nutrition as the ONLY viable solution to our out-of-control health care mess.

Dr. John McDonough of the Harvard University Department of Public Health

After being introduced by Dr. Campbell last year, John and I have met several times for lunch at the Elephant Walk in Cambridge, MA, where we can always enjoy a delicious vegan meal.

Why am I writing about him today? Because I noticed that he recently posted a blog comparing RomneyCare to ObamaCare and wanted to share that information with you. Rest assured, there is no political agenda here; I am just sharing information that will help prepare you for the health care portion of the upcoming presidential debates. Regardless of your political persuasion, you will learn a great deal from Dr. McDonough.

Just so you know, the AFA began as a bi-partisan effort to improve our health care system—long before anyone outside of Illinois had ever heard of Barack Obama. And while Dr. McDonough believes that the true answer to health care is “fixing the food,” he appreciates the difficulty of the latter. In one of my earlier blogs, I quoted him:

I am convinced we will never “fix” health care in the U.S. until we first fix food.

The source article for this blog was published in Dr. McDonough’s “Health Stew” blog in the Boston Globe on August 27 and can be accessed at the link below. That blogpost, entitled “RomneyCare vs. ObamaCare – which is better?” begins thusly:

Mitt Romney has ended his self-imposed silence on his signature achievement as Massachusetts Governor — declaring himself “very proud” of his signing of the Massachusetts Health Reform law (aka: RomneyCare, Chapter 58) in April 2006. Appearing on Fox News and other outlets, Romney also declared that the Massachusetts Health Reform law is “better” than the Affordable Care Act (aka: ObamaCare).

Reasonable question: which is better? Personally, I am delighted that the two presidential contenders might debate which government-engineered scheme to expand affordable health insurance is better. Let me try and offer my own answer. There is no simple answer. On some things, RomneyCare wins, on others, it’s hands-down ObamaCare. And on some, it’s more complicated. Let’s look at some details…

Pennsylvania state highway provides the numerals for consecutive daily blog #581.

Want to learn more? I encourage you to read his recent “Health Stew” blog. I have provided two earlier blogposts  that feature my friend, Dr. John McDonough.

So how are we going to “fix the food” part of our health care mess? If we depend on Congress, it will never happen during my lifetime. But we don’t have to wait for Congress to “fix the food” when it comes to what we put on the table for our own families. We can do it NOW. Here’s how to get started:

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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3 Responses to Affordable Care Act. How much do you really know?

  1. Leo S. says:

    While it helps to have insurance cover the many illnesses we may develop through the years, no matter who pays for it, many conditions are still with us and affect our lives. The goal is to live a lifestyle which might prevent the many conditions which have been shown to be preventable and/or reversible. Individuals may have more control over their health if they took advantage of the teachings of some of the physicians who advocate lifestyle changes. There are many more today than there were 50 years ago and their messages are available to anyone who might have the interest and take the time to read or hear what they have to say. Your daily blogs go to great lengths to provide much information. Thanks for all you have added.

    We don’t have to wait for legislators who may or may not be able to pass programs that may benefit us. We vote every time we eat.

  2. T. Colin Campbell says:

    Does John support your promoting his material? Personally and professionally, I really like John–he is terrific. But I also wonder how best he wants his persona advertised, especially his views on the WFPB dietary lifestyle.


    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      Colin, Just received this note from John—and, as you can see, he “approved my message” about him in my blog.

      “Thanks, Jim. Much appreciated, and I hope you are doing well. Best wishes, John”

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