A growing lobby is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM ) providers, who have discovered a new opportunity to extract even more money from patients than they do already. They want the government to force insurance providers to pay for quack treatments, regardless of whether or not the treatments work. Any attempt to require evidence, they argue, amounts to discrimination.
Discrimination? Yes! We must not allow the government to exclude health care providers just because those providers don’t cure anything. The CAMmers argument boils down to this: we have patients who want our services. The patients like us. In some cases, thanks to lobbying at the state level, we even have state-approved licenses. Therefore insurance companies must pay for our services.
To be specific, the CAMmers are lobbying furiously to try to protect a special clause in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that promises them a fertile new ground for making money from vulnerable patients.
The strategy is simple: require the government to fund any treatment that a patient wants, and dress this up as “patient choice.” Then if insurance companies resist paying for ineffective treatments, accuse them of discriminating against the poor, hapless “integrative medicine” providers.
Thus through a diabolical twist of illogic, if Obamacare doesn’t cover homeopathy, or naturopathy, or acupuncture, or magnetic energy healing, or any other so-called alternative therapy, it’s discrimination.
Make no mistake: this is all about greed. The CAM industry sees Obamacare as a chance to reap huge profits, by forcing insurance companies to pay for ineffective treatments, including many that are wildly implausible.
It is about greed but also because many of these practitioners and their patients BELIEVE this works. Telling emotional believable stories to Congress kind of works to sway them. I’m concerned. There must be a push to consider the SCIENCE-BASED evidence for these treatments. It’s only discrimination based on what isn’t nonsense. Don’t let them run over Congress. Many are already “licensed” in individual states which lends [baseless] credibility to their practice. They have taken little steps to bolster their reputation. That is something completely different from what the efficacy results say.
If anyone has specific recommendations about what we can do, please advise.
In Australia, there was a decision that taxpayers did not have to pay for this “spiritual healing”