ANH-USA has modified the U.S. Senate healthcare bill to ensure that the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) program includes integrative medicine practitioners on its board and advisory panel. The first inclusion of integrative medicine in any federal program, this will provide integrative medicine a voice in determining important areas of research, such as the role of dietary supplements in prevention and treatment. This small victory for all those who value integrative medicine was not lost on the president of the American Herbal Products Association, Michael McGuffin. “Support of alternative practitioners in the current Senate version of the healthcare reform legislation could bode well for the herbal and dietary supplement industry,” McGuffin said.
But there is also bad news. A Wall Street Journal editorial notes that “the MIT economist (Jonathan Gruber) has been among the foremost promoters of Obama Care — even as he had nearly $400,000 in consulting contracts with the Administration that weren’t disclosed in the many stories in which he was cited as an independent authority”. Another Wall Street Journal editorial mentions consumers’ concern that everyone “will have to buy essentially one standard product that Washington decides is best”.