Last week we updated you on our success in persuading the Senate to include integrative doctors in the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) program of the senate healthcare bill. This will make it harder for special interests to try to outlaw integrative medicine at the national level.
Everyone knows that CER is a non-negotiable item for both President Obama and Congress. So we worked to ensure that any system created to fund and evaluate medical treatments will at the very least recognize and include natural and integrative physicians. Even if the present healthcare bills do not pass, we feel sure that CER will be passed in some form, so the amendments we achieved are crucial.
Unfortunately, even with integrative medicine included in CER, the merged senate healthcare bill is still completely unacceptable in its present form. By allowing the Federal government to define what health is and what health insurance is, and then backing this up with the mandated purchase of government approved insurance, at penalty of fines and even jail, the government is unwittingly opening the way for special interests such as drug companies, medical device manufacturers, and the AMA to complete their takeover of medicine. Meanwhile, alternative forms of medical care will become much more expensive, if they are available at all.
Every day it becomes clearer that real medicine must be preventive in nature, with an emphasis on diet, dietary supplements, and lifestyle. The Senate bill, to its credit, talks about prevention. But the definition is tailor made for drug companies which want to sell more drugs and equipment makers who want to sell more test equipment.
Under this bill, catastrophic and similar packages will no longer be available to anyone over the age of 30. The bill also limits flexible spending accounts (FSA) to $2,500 per year, increases the non-qualified health savings account (HSA) distribution penalty from 10 percent to 20 percent, and blocks the purchase of over-the-counter medicines in these accounts. The specific HSA provisions may actually be moot; because it’s doubtful HSA’s will survive the healthcare reform process at all. It will depend how the mandated insurance is defined, and most likely it will be defined in such a way that HSA’s will be impossible.
Electronic Medical Records under this legislation will open your private medical records to hundreds of private parties as well as the government and, in the worst case, may be used to target practitioners who are using alternative therapies. The plan also includes unique health plan identifiers – each of us will have a cradle to grave unique ID number.
In a little discussed provision, cost-sharing will be prohibited for preventive services, which may prevent out-of-pocket payment for medical services that are supposedly “available” under qualifying health insurance. This means that you may not be able to get the treatments you want or see your doctors of choice.
Contact your senators today. Tell them to vote NO on healthcare reform!
Craig Smith and Stuart Kellogg, Deputy Editors
ANH-USA Pulse of Health FreedomThis newsletter is copyrighted material (copyright by Alliance for Natural Health USA, 2009) but we hope you will forward, copy, or reprint it without prior authorization. Just remember to note the source and date — Alliance for Natural Health USA, December 8, 2009.