Earlier this year, Representatives LaHood, Boyle, Curtis, and Gottheimer introduced legislation to allow dietary supplements to be covered under flex/health spending accounts (FSA/HSA). Known as the Dietary Supplements Access Act, the bill would allow consumers to use their FSAs and HSAs to purchase dietary supplements, giving millions of Americans increased flexibility in managing their health care. Radicle Science had a chance to catch up with Representative Curtis, of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District and sponsor of the bill to get his thoughts on how the industry might benefit and what we can do to get the legislation passed.
Here are three takeaways from our conversation:
Takeaway 1: It’s high time we transition the narrative from “sick care” to “health care.”
“You [Radicle Science] and those you work with in the dietary supplement industry are working overtime to help keep us from becoming sick and to keep us healthy,” said Representative Curtis. “Too much of our medical situation is geared toward what to do once people are sick. We need to incentivize people from becoming sick. The dietary supplement industry knows that you can prevent illness, we need to encourage that.” This bill is an important step toward a more deliberate focus on proactive health care.
Takeaway 2: “Stay compliant.”
“We want to keep FTC in a good place. We don’t want the FTC to be overzealous, but we also want to protect the good name of the industry,” said Representative Curtis. “If the industry can stay in that place of complying with federal law and maintaining consumer trust, it makes this a lot easier for me. Let’s not make compliance an issue here in Washington.” Not only would this bill be good for public health, this would be a real win for the industry. As an industry, it behooves us all to comply and continue to win the trust of American consumers, legislators, and regulators. .
Takeaway 3: “Let’s give them something to talk about!”
“The dietary supplement industry does a really good job of lobbying and education. But never underestimate the power of reaching out to your local representative to show your support and give them your perspective. Along those lines, keep on keepin’ on,” said Representative Curtis. “The more people hear about the bill, the more wind in our sails we have. Reach out to your federal legislators. It’s fine if they hear it from me, but it makes more of a difference if they hear it from someone they are accountable to, so keep making those contacts.”
During the Q&A portion of the webinar, the affable Representative Curtis took the liberty of sharing the supplements that he takes on a regular basis (masking the brand names of course.) His daily habit includes iron, Vitamin C, Zinc, Beets, B12, D3, Organic Superfoods, Collagen, and Protein Powder. As an industry, not only do we have a friend in Representative Curtis, we also have a fan, regulatory ally, and avid customer.