As someone who takes his share of herbal supplements, I know that the costs can add up pretty quickly. So when I heard about The Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act of 2009 I was excited. The new bill making the rounds in Congress this week would provide tax write offs to herbal supplement consumers. The Dietary Supplement Tax Fairness Act of 2009, or HR 3263, would treat dietary supplements and dietary foods as medical expenses, and allow corresponding tax relief.
With U.S. supplement costs approaching $22 billion annually in sales, this would be no small measure. The problem is many of the people close to the bill don’t hold out too much hope for its success – especially with the bevy of problems gripping the current legislative session. Here’s what Daniel Fabricant, CEO of the Natural Products Association had to say on the matter:
"As much as we’d like to see the focus on how supplements can be incorporated into the healthcare system and have a cost-savings benefit, with so much of the focus currently on the healthcare reform bills and food safety bills, as well as some discussion on potentially a second stimulus package, it is unfortunate but it would seem that at this time, such a proposal will take somewhat of a back burner position."
That really is a shame. If people had more actual, immediately tangible incentives (like, say, cold hard cash) to live healthier lives, health-care costs would inevitably drop over time. It’s about time the government start rewarding those who have been actively caring for their health instead of treading water with the current system of managing symptoms instead of preventing illness.
But what if supplements were not only tax-free, but entirely free? Which ones would you stock up on? Dr. Jean- Jacques Dugoua poses this hypothetical question: What if you were handed a check and told to spend it all on vitamins—a supplement shopping spree of sorts? What should you buy?
Jim is an alternative health researcher and reporter. He is always sniffing out the story behind the mainstream headlines.
He is the author of numerous articles and reports on natural health and a regular contributer to the HealthierTalk.com community.
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