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Scott Ott's Examiner Scrappleface: Health plan on ice, Obama pushes grocery reform

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Scott Ott

News fairly unbalanced. We report. You decipher.

His health care plan at least temporarily stymied in Congress, President Obama announced today that he would mount a 27-city tour to promote his new nutrition reform program, dubbed America's Affordable Grocery Choices Act.

With the cost of grocery items skyrocketing, experts say that about 330 million Americans suffer periodic bouts of hunger. Children and the elderly often go for hours between meals.

"America's grocery system is broken," said President Obama, "and the time for reform is now. We can't kick the can down the road, or play political games any longer."

The White House said the president's plan will increase choices and competition, improve the quality of grocery items, share responsibility for grocery bills and protect consumers against waste, fraud and abuse by offering a "Public Option Grocery Store" within five miles of every American home.

"You can still shop at Acme, Kroger, Piggly Wiggly, Stew Leonard's, Weis Markets, Stater Bros., or Price Chopper," the president said, "But who in their right mind would want to do that when Public Option Groceries has a lot of the same stuff at much lower prices? In many cases, Public Option will offer same-week service on commodity items like corn flakes, toilet paper and salt."

Under the terms of the president's reform plan, shoppers who fail to visit their existing private grocery provider during any single calendar week will automatically become Public Option shoppers.

America's Affordable Grocery Choices Act will generate billions of dollars in cost savings, the president said, "and best of all, it pays for itself through an increase in taxes on caviar, shrimp and other luxury items that wealthy people eat."

Examiner columnist Scott Ott is editor in chief of ScrappleFace.com, the family-friendly news satire site.

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