Monthly Archives: November 2009

Can building a greener planet, also produce a healthier one?

Many companies claim they are reducing their carbon footprint, streamlining manufacturing processes so that fewer pollutants are released.   Al Gore, who has made a second career of promoting ‘green’ policies, and touting them in SNL guest spots, quite entertainingly I might add, looked a bit foolish last month when it was reported his own electric bill for a single month was $30,000.00, more than many earn in a year.    This only demonstrates the need for something more substantial than mere statements to prove a company/individual has really “put its money where its mouth is” and  made such a commitment.   Fortunately, if  this is a priority for your household,  you are in luck;  as there are a crop of  sources/websites at your disposal that list eco-diets, or ‘off limits for an eco diet’  based on several criteria.  What are the environmental issues most important to you? Non-genetically engineered livestock/vegetables?  No artificial/injected hormones? Supporting your local farmers for better gas conservation?  Supporting small farms, coops as opposed to conglomerates like Cargill?  Organic? No additives, no preservatives, no chemicals?

Advancements in Science and Technology afford substitutes for products and substances that were not available in our parents’ childhood.   However, the simple ingredients in the products of their era have morphed into terminology that now requires a PhD to decipher in order determine which products fall within our values/guidelines. Even individuals, who have never before considered such issues a priority when choosing products, may be reconsidering their household diet in light of recent news.   Contamination from cans of tuna, the affect of additives, hormonal and otherwise,  on obesity rates, and premature maturation processess of our children, and the jump in the number of births related to Autism, to name a few, provide cause for careful examination over what we are ingesting.
Whatever your reason, ScanAvert empowers you to rely on your priorities, making the task of choosing appropriate food  products simple.    It is our hope, as consumers exercise their choices,  this will translate to collective demand  to improve the processes, substances and practices our manufacturers employ, and raise the bar on the health of the products they sell.

The True Costs of Healthcare reform

Our legislature would have us believe our health care system is broken. On the contrary, our health care is the best in the world and that is why people travel from every corner of the globe for treatment/surgery here. Rather, it is our people who are in need of repair. Poor diet and poor habits top the list as the origin of our most expensive patients. Our legislators continue to resort to the same playbook whereby the  responsible pay for  the mistakes of the irresponsible, and this has already sunk us into monstrous debt, e.g., the housing/mortgage crisis, and its related Wall St. bailout. Individuals who maintain a healthy diet and healthy habits, should have lower insurance premiums, and recieve prioritized access to needed proceedures and treatment than the guy who smokes 2 packs a day and  washes down his Supersize X-tra Value Meal with a 36 ounce soda, or worse, a six pack.  Plain and simple, health care should function like auto insurance, higher premiums for riskier/unhealthy habits, lower premiums for better/improved health habits- that’s health care reform.

But that is not what the current Administration is proposing.  Instead, we are being offered a “one size fits all” remedy and as of yet, I cannot figure out who will pay the health care bills of 304 million Americans:

Forty million of us are over 65 and Medicare eligible [exempt  from contributing], and 31.2% or 95 million are under 18, therefore also exempt, that leaves 169 million. Factor in current unemployment, leaving us with 152 million, and 9% on Medicaid/exempt leaves 137 million of us. However the Congressional Budget Office states it will still be unaffordable for the working 17 million of us, bringing us to 120 million that will support the far larger majority, and that ignores the healthiest among us, aged 18-35, that will forgo health care since the fine for doing so is minimal, as revised under the Baucus plan. If passed, Americans will pay higher taxes as the Administration sets its own evaluation on health benfits as earned income [although union employees, even those earning in the mid-six figures, enjoy exemption from such evaluation and tax], and imposes taxes on employer-offered health care flex-spending accounts, translating to decreased consumer spending, and a swift kick off our precarious recovery course. Additionally, older individuals,who continued to work, and subscribed/supplemented  employer’s plans, will have to quit  the workforce to avoid such tax/penalty, which will increase Medicare expenditures.
In reality, it is not a health care bill at all, but a massive tax increase on the middle class.  For employers it is the tipping point against hiring more staff, or for funneling jobs off shore, and in an economy with unemployment at 10%, that’s just plain STUPID.