Health insurance is such a scam.

Plus: Is HIIT worth it?

Thursday. The key takeaway from the poll we ran yesterday? Our readers love these emails. Social media—not so much. Got it. What I want to know is, who are the six people who want more Daily Tonic content on TikTok? Does that mean we have some hip Gen Z readers? Do I need to start learning trending TikTok dances?

Well, here is something Gen Z probably doesn’t care about, even though they should—fraud in our healthcare system. Let’s dive in.


Big Time Fraud

Schitts Creek Comedy GIF by CBC

We live in a world now where access to health insurance can be hard to come by or just really expensive. So, how is it fair that some people have been able to take advantage of the system while others are stuck paying more than their fair share for something that is so broken? 

Picture this: for over a decade, a Department of Transportation employee pretended his sister and niece were his wife and stepchild just to get them federal health benefits. And he's not the only one. From Army facilities in Alabama to the halls of the Department of Justice, employees have been adding ex-wives, friends, and even friends' kids to their plans, claiming they're all part of the family (READ THE FULL REPORT FROM POLITICO). 

Call it fraud. Call it a scam. This kind of stuff just isn’t fair. 

Now, you might wonder how big of a deal this is. Is a federal employee adding a few extra people to their health care plan hurting anyone else? Well, these health insurance enrollment scams are costing the federal government a whopping $3 billion annually, indirectly affecting all of us (unless you don’t pay taxes). 

And the craziest part? The Office of Personnel Management, which looks after health insurance for 8 million federal workers and their families, hasn't really been checking if everyone on its rolls actually qualifies. Recent reporting revealed that there isn't even a sliver of oversight to ensure these scams aren’t happening. The government is, unsurprisingly, asleep at the wheel. 

And this isn't just a drop in the bucket; we're talking about a leak flooding the whole ship, raising premiums for millions of civil servants, and costing taxpayers billions. $3 billion every year is real money with real ripple effects. 

Senator Rick Scott from Florida thinks it's high time to plug this leak. He's all set to introduce a bill demanding the Office of Personnel Management to finally start auditing its members. "It's not that hard," Scott says, pointing out that companies and states manage to do it all the time. If they don't, he argues, it's like they're giving a thumbs up to fraud.

But it gets even better: the Office of Personnel Management is dragging its feet, saying an audit would be too pricey. But without a real plan to verify everyone's eligibility, the system's ripe for the taking. 

This isn't just about a few bad apples, either. The lack of oversight is a gaping hole in the federal health program. And while some argue that auditing millions of enrollees is a daunting task, others see it as a necessary step to ensure the program's integrity.

What's really at stake here is more than just money; it's about fairness and trust. Every fake family member on the plan means higher costs for the real ones, and that's not how this system should work.

The key takeaway? As the debate over this whole debacle heats up, one thing's clear: fixing this mess won't be easy, but ignoring it could cost us all dearly. And as we wait to see if Senator Scott's bill can make it through the hoops of Congress, millions of federal employees and their families are left wondering if their premiums will keep climbing, all because of a system that's been too passive for too long. 

It’s a story that’s been told time and time again. It's a story of bureaucracy, loopholes, average people getting the short end of the stick, and the pressing need for accountability in D.C. 


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More Young People Are Being Prescribed Antidepressants, Here’s Why

Not a known Avenue

Antidepressant use among young people has escalated in recent years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the dispensing rate of antidepressants among young adults and adolescents increased significantly, according to a new study.

The findings were published February 26 in the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Researchers examined antidepressant prescriptions for young individuals in the United States ages 12–25 from 2016 to 2022, during which time the monthly antidepressant dispensing rate increased by 66.3%.


Is HIIT Worth Trying Out?

More Young People Are Being Prescribed Antidepressants, Here’s Why

Who’s got the time to work out these days? With kids, work, and all the other demands of daily life, making time for regular exercise can be a challenge. That’s why many are turning to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Giving you some serious bang for your buck, this workout style delivers results in minimal time, offering significant benefits to our metabolic health in sessions as short as seven minutes.

That’s right — just seven minutes. Who doesn’t have seven minutes to spare in their day?

So, what is HIIT? The American College of Sports Medicine defines it as a workout alternating between intense activity, where your heart rate spikes to 80-95% of its capacity, and longer rest periods. These intense moments are similar to regular exercises but yield quicker results because they require immediate fuel.

So, how does this translate into the direct benefits this type of training can have on your health? Well, HIIT has proven beneficial effects on our metabolic health.

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