Chicago Tribune pens article describing Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Health Reform
December 14, 2009
The Chicago Tribune recently joined the growing chorus of newspapers examining the provision in health care reform that would mandate coverage for complementary and alternative treatments, as long as the treatment is certified by states. However, unlike other articles, the one in the Tribune does an excellent job of spelling out exactly what that would mean for Americans. So here is what it would mean, plain and simple.
First, it would mean rising insurance costs. As the Tribune points out, the purpose of health care reform is to bend the cost curve down, something that can’t be done if insurers have to pay out for acupuncture, “natuotherapy”, or chiropractic services. That mandate will increase insurance costs for everyone in order to pay for treatments that do not produce evidence based results demonstrating their effectiveness.
Secondly, because the clause is written as a “nondiscrimination” clause in the health reform bills, it would effectively elevate CAM treatments to the level of real medicine. It would tell insurance companies that they cannot decide that back surgery is better than chiropractic treatments for a slipped disc in someone’s back. It would tell insurance companies that they have to offer acupuncture and “therapeutic touch” in addition to surgery for pain relief. It would effectively tell insurers “As long as there is someone licensed to practice it, you have to cover it.”
Many doctors recognize this threat. Last week, a coalition of 19 physicians groups representing 240,000 surgeons and anesthesiologists wrote to Leader Reid, D-Nev. to protest the nondiscrimination provision. They said the nondiscrimination measure “would create patient confusion over greatly differing levels of education, skills and training among health care professionals.” And they’re right. Many patients take their doctor’s advice. And they should. Doctors are trained professionals who work tirelessly to earn medical degrees and swear to uphold the ideals of medicine. However, when the average patient goes to see a chiropractor, they may not know that it only took that person two to four years to get certified, and they swore no Hippocratic oath. This would be a disaster for our health care system.
All hope is not lost however. It turns out Nevada licenses psychics. Seriously. I guess I should go out there ask them what to do in the future to not get sick, huh? Because if I do, the mandate for CAM in the health care bills will make it both ridiculously expensive and more difficult to get real, evidence-based medical treatments over magic wand waving nonsense.
A link to the Tribune article here .
Note: The commentary of bloggers on the CFI: OPP blog does not necessarily represent the official positions of the Center for Inquiry or the Office of Public Policy.
#1 Travel Ins (Guest) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 at 5:25am
when the average patient goes to see a chiropractor, they may not know that it only took that person two to four years to get certified, and they swore no Hippocratic oath. This would be a disaster for our health care system.