Health Reform Seeks to Include Alternative Therapies

July 24, 2009  
Filed under General Interest

As reported in the Boston Globe today, some Senators are seeking to have alternative therapies included in health care reform. Senator Harkin (D) of Iowa, who has been a long time proponent of Alternative Medicine, spoke at a congressional hearing this week in defense of alternative therapies. Harkin is the cosponsor of an amendment that says health care plans will not be allowed to “discriminate’’ against any healthcare provider who has a license issued by a state, an amendment Senate aides said was designed to provide coverage for alternative medicine.

This could not only save billions of dollars in healthcare costs, but would also help to boost the economy as many more people seek alternatives to the more costly, and invasive, procedures that could be treated with therapies such as Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Herbal Medicine, and other treatments that fall under the alternative therapies umbrella. Increased demand will increase the need for licensed practitioners.  Doug Rosenberg of PRWeb writes: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, alternative medicine careers are expected to increase more than average through 2016, with certain natural healing professions, such as massage therapy, chiropractic and nutrition, leading the others in marketplace demands. Alternative medicine has become increasingly integrated into conventional medicine, and hospitals and wellness centers across the country now use natural healing modalities as treatment.”

The two main sponsors of the Senate amendment were Harkin and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D), Maryland. Republicans, including the ranking member on the Senate health committee, Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, also backed the amendment. The Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions agreed to the measure, but it will be left to the Senate Finance Committee.

Will it make it into the final bill?  One can always hope.  Then again, “hope” is not a strategy.

You can read the Boston Globe article here.

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