From SBM — Updated on CAM Protection in Health Care Reform

Science-Based Medicine has posted a look at some of the language that has survived into current Senate and House versions of health care reform legislation. The woo protection elements are alive and well. Here are some examples:

 “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.”

“[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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4 Responses to From SBM — Updated on CAM Protection in Health Care Reform

  1. If the government is going to provide woo protection by paying for it I bet the government will also want to pay for studies that are promoted to try and find out if woo works.

  2. skeptvet says:

    Well, the government already does through NCCAM. The problem is that without any consideration fo prior plausiblity, they have spent over $2 billion and validated almost nothing. Not a very efficient use of limited reseearch resources.

  3. Bartimaeus says:

    The Kerry-Hatch amendment is intended to approve payments for religious and spiritual based treatment as well.
    I have sent letters to my congresspersons and senators in regard to this, hopefully many such letters will make an impression.

  4. Rita says:

    Best of luck with the campaigns, chaps! There’s a hair-raising contribution to the world of woo made by a British MP in the very Houses of Parliament on the Quackometer page……it’s really chilling that there seems practically no way to get people to think on these issues.

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