Tommy Thompson
Former Governor of Wisconsin; Former Secretary, Health and Human Services
01:56

Tommy Thompson’s Plan to Make Consumers Healthy

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Tommy Thompson wants a massive relabeling scheme for food.

Tommy Thompson

From 1987 to 2001, Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms. Thompson's initiatives during his 13 years as governor of Wisconsin included his Wisconsin Works welfare reform program and school choice program, which allowed low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice at taxpayer expense. He also created the BadgerCare program, designed to provide health coverage to those families whose employers don't provide health insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Through the federal waiver program, Thompson helped replicate this program in several states when he was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by President George W. H. Bush in 2001, a position he would hold for four years. Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, he received Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. Thompson has also served as chairman of the National Governors' Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors' Conference. Thompson also served in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army Reserve. Currently, he is an independent senior advisor of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Transcript

Topic: Tommy Thompson’s Plan to Make Consumers Healthy

Tommy Thompson: First off, you have to put out a good labeling, you know, good labeling on foods so you can actually understand what you’re consuming. Number 2, you got to put out educational programs starting in, you know, in the grade school and high schools with children. You got to do something about not having every corner in a school, you know, with vending machines with nothing but high fat foods in it and so on. You need good drinks and good foods in those vending machines. Number [4], I encourage my corporate clients to bring in a nutritionist. If they can have a full time nutritionist on staff and I could show them if they’ll do that they can save money, but at least bring one in on a part-time basis, on a periodic basis to teach people how to eat properly. I also have suggested that cafeterias in corporations and in hospitals subsidize good food for their employees and their patients and allow a one line to have nothing but fruits and vegetables and salads, and either subsidize it or give it away free to your employees, and on the other line, put your high fat foods and charge a lot of money, and to do that you will change human nature. I made a joke that if you charge everybody $5 for a hamburger, $10 for a cheeseburger and $0.20 for French fry, and if you do that, you will change people’s attitude to go over to the good foods. These are the kind of things that we have to do as a society to make ourselves healthier

Recorded On: 10/30/08


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