Pay Now or Pay Later

If you haven’t read Shawn Buckley’s article The Taxation of Supplements, do yourself a favour and check it out. Buckley makes some excellent points in that piece, such as the following:

“We don’t pay to see our medical doctors, but we pay to see natural practitioners.”

“There is no GST [tax] on prescription drugs, but there is on natural supplements.”

“Prescription drugs paid for by a medical plan are not taxable benefits; most supplements are.”

You know this reminds me of an interesting revelation once made by a medical doctor that I used to shadow. When consulting with a patient, the integrative medicine physician first recommended red rice yeast as a method to help manage her elevated cholesterol levels. However, since money was an issue with this particular individual, he wrote her a script for statins because it was covered under her health plan.

In other words, the patient would have to pay out of pocket for the natural supplement or get a man-made version of it for free. Some statin drugs are basically red rice yeast tweaked slightly. It’s that “tweaking” that can cause some undesirable side-effects down the road.

Really, it’s no different than processing and refining food. You can eat food that was naturally raised and grown without chemicals, or you can eat chemical-laden food that has gone through extensive processing and refining (often referred to as “non-foods”). Which do you think is better for your health?

The problem, of course, is that a loaf of bread or a box of macaroni & cheese is relatively inexpensive. Compare that to grass-fed beef or organic fruits and vegetables. The cost difference is huge! A family that is struggling financially cannot afford to eat healthy and take high-quality nutritional supplements. They may very well have to succumb to illness, disease, and drugs.

There’s no doubt that it takes far more in time, money, and effort to be healthy. It’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper to be unhealthy, but as it’s often said by the alternative community: “You can pay now or you can pay later!”

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