CFI Report: A Fracture in Our Health Care: Paying for Non-Evidence Based Medicine
Posted: 28 September 2009 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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CFI’s Office of Public Policy has issued a report warning of attempts by several legislators, including notorious proponent of CAM Tom Harkin, to insert language in health reform legislation that would prohibit “discrimination” against providers of therapies with no scientific plausibility or evidence. The report uses Therapeutic Touch as an example of the sort of nonsense that insurance companies and any public plan could be required to pay for, but there are others even worse. Do we really want public health care dollars spent on faith healing, homeopathy, and other manifest nonsense? As the report puts it:

The Center for Inquiry strongly urges that the government should spend no taxpayer dollars in support of any alleged medical treatments or healing protocols, such as Therapeutic Touch, that have no grounding in experiment or in our understanding of basic scientific fact. The United States faces an urgent challenge in attempting to make quality health care available to those who need it, while simultaneously reining in the ballooning cost of medical care. Every dollar of health care funding is needed to provide tested, proven medical treatment to those who require it. It is inexcusable to squander scarce resources by funding unsubstantiated, non-evidence-based medical techniques that have no basis in theory or experiment.

I urge everyone to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to oppose this inexcusable waste of our limited health care resources.

[ Edited: 28 September 2009 10:33 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 28 September 2009 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I agree. This is an important cause. I do not want my tax dollars supporting alternative medicine.

I’ll contact my Senators, but considering they are John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison I don’t expect anything more than a form letter response.

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Posted: 28 September 2009 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Good for CFI. What they’re saying needs to be heard.

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Posted: 28 September 2009 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I understand, fotobits. It’s not an issue on which ever seems to inspire my representatives, regardless of where they stand politcally. All we can do is try. I have written a couple of sample letters on the subject, quoting the CFI report, which I have posted on my blog, and anyone who wishes to is free to use them as templates.

Yes, I am enthusiastic about CFI’s OPP overall, not just on this issue. I would love to help them in some way with their work, but when I offered they didn’t see anything useful I could do without moving to DC! Oh well. grin

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Posted: 18 October 2009 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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As an update, Science Based Medicine has posted an update on the woo protection elements of healthcare reform HERE. Here are some excerpts:

“insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law.” which, of course, includes any state licensed chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, oriental medicine practitioner, etc.

“[community health teams may include] doctors of chiropractic, licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners…”

“provide coordination of the appropriate use of complementary and alternative (CAM) services to those who request such services”

“provide local access to the continuum of health care services in the most appropriate setting, including access to individuals that implement the care plans of patients and coordinate care, such as integrative health care practitioners”

“The term ‘health care workforce’ includes…doctors of chiropractic…licensed complementary and alternative medicine providers, integrative health practitioners”

“a requirement that there be non-discrimination in health care in a manner that,…[protects] benefits for religious or spiritual health care”

“Prohibition of discrimination in health care services based on religious or spiritual content”

If anything, the language of the legislation seems to have gotten more protective of woo coming out of committee. *sigh* Politics may make strange bedfellows, but it is ridiculous and infuriating that part of the price for health care reform may be greater government protection of unproven and bogus medical therapies.

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Posted: 18 October 2009 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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mckenzievmd - 18 October 2009 12:58 PM

As an update, Science Based Medicine has posted an update on the woo protection elements of healthcare reform HERE. Here are some excerpts:

“insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law.” which, of course, includes any state licensed chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, oriental medicine practitioner, etc.

“[community health teams may include] doctors of chiropractic, licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners…”

“provide coordination of the appropriate use of complementary and alternative (CAM) services to those who request such services”

“provide local access to the continuum of health care services in the most appropriate setting, including access to individuals that implement the care plans of patients and coordinate care, such as integrative health care practitioners”

“The term ‘health care workforce’ includes…doctors of chiropractic…licensed complementary and alternative medicine providers, integrative health practitioners”

“a requirement that there be non-discrimination in health care in a manner that,…[protects] benefits for religious or spiritual health care”

“Prohibition of discrimination in health care services based on religious or spiritual content”

If anything, the language of the legislation seems to have gotten more protective of woo coming out of committee. *sigh* Politics may make strange bedfellows, but it is ridiculous and infuriating that part of the price for health care reform may be greater government protection of unproven and bogus medical therapies.

Typical. If the point is to keep healthcare costs under control, the first thing that should be cut are costs associated with worthless treatments.

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