Which integrative physician will be appointed to the powerful new federal research institute? ANH–USA is currently working with Congress to be sure that he or she will be the real thing.
ANH-USA knew that whatever the outcome of the Healthcare “Reform” legislation, there would be a new federal panel for medicine. This panel is supposed to report on the most proven and effective treatments. But it is widely understood that its advice will eventually guide the government when and if it moves to ration care, starting with Medicare and then moving into private insurance plans.
Initially, the board was known as the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Board. Now it is called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Whatever soothing name it is given, it is expected to have immense influence. For this reason, ANH–USA lobbied hard to have an integrative doctor included by statute.
Normally we would worry that this statutory requirement might be evaded by the choice of a physician who would be “integrative” in name only or perhaps not integrative at all. But the same allies who ensured a place for an integrative physician will influence the naming of an individual to play this role, so we are hopeful.
ANH–USA remains strongly opposed to the healthcare bill that passed because of its mandate of conventional medical insurance policies among other reasons. We expect to join others in legal tests of that bill. But even if the bill is eventually overturned or repealed, we think it overwhelmingly likely that the new Research Board will survive. With our Congressional allies’ help, we will try to make it as friendly to natural and integrative medicine, that is, to real preventive medicine as we can.
We will keep you posted on how the appointment of an integrative doctor to the powerful new board goes.