Letter to the President
(Original article is at http://www.acupuncture4us.org/letter_president.asp)
Honorable President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500
August 6th, 2010
Dear President Obama,
The purpose of this letter is to request that you to sign an executive order to provide full coverage through Medicare and all other insurances for individuals that require acupuncture treatment.
Since 1993, a number of bills titled Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act had been brought to and have died in committee. A summary of these proposed bills are:
To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of qualified acupuncturist services under part B of the medicare program, and to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for coverage of such services under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
1993-1994 103rd Congress H.R. 2588
1995-1996 104th Congress H.R. 3292
1997-1998 105th Congress H.R. 1038
1999-2000 106th Congress H.R. 1890
2001-2002 107th Congress H.R. 747
2003-2004 108th Congress H.R. 1477
2005-2006 109th Congress H.R. 818
2007-2008 110th Congress H.R. 1479
Presently, H.R. 646, introduced on January 22, 2009, was referred to the Committee of House Oversight and Government Reform. Due to special interest groups, it has been impossible to pass this bill.
This letter is in the interest of millions of Americans who benefit from acupuncture for a litany of ailments and illnesses. Acupuncture treatment performed by a licensed acupuncturist would be welcome as an alternative medical choice just as chiropractic treatment is performed by a licensed Chiropractor is an alternative medical choice. In 1972, Public Law 92-603 which amended section 1891(r) of the Social Security Act, defined Chiropractors as physicians who are eligible for Medicare reimbursement…” I respectfully ask that your executive order allow Licensed Acupuncturists to be defined as physicians as well, making them eligible for Medicare reimbursement.
Having Medicare pay for acupuncture would save this country billions of dollars in the long term. Acupuncture treatments can be performed on those that cannot tolerate certain medications, have nausea after surgery, for pain management and can be used to increase metabolism for weight reduction. There are numerous case studies by major Medical Universities that corroborate this. In China and other Asian countries Acupuncturists work side by side with doctors of western medicine.
The report from a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997 stated that acupuncture is being “widely” practiced—by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners—for relief or prevention of pain and for various other health conditions. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use by Americans, an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults and 150,000 children had used acupuncture in the previous year. Between the 2002 and 2007 the National Health Interview Study (NHIS), acupuncture use among adults increased by three-tenths of 1 percent (approximately 1 million people).
The World Health Organization conducted a consultation on Acupuncture where experts were asked to perform clinical trials using acupuncture for various illnesses and disorders. Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Clinical Trials revealed that many of the patients that were treated with acupuncture found significant relief/improvement.
There are over 50 Acupuncture Colleges and Universities in the United States. Many prestigious medical colleges and universities have completed case studies of patients who have had moderate to significant relief with acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is the safest and in many instances, the only treatment for many disorders. On an outpatient basis, acupuncture is much less expensive than most medical or surgical treatments. Many insurances already pay for acupuncture. The benefits and effectiveness are demonstrated daily. It would be a major progressive step to include full acupuncture coverage for all Americans as part of Healthcare Reform.
In 1972, Yao Wu Lee, Doctor of Oriental Medicine premiered the nation’s first acupuncture clinic in New York City. In 1973, the clinic moved to Washington, D.C. and became known as Washington Acupuncture Center. Yao Wu Lee, O.M.D., Ph.D., A.P., Yang Ming Chu, Ph.D. from George Washington University Medical School and Daniel Weiner, M.D., Ph.D., from the Veterans Administration Hospital directed the clinical studies completed in 1976 reflected in the chart below:
|RESULTS OF ACUPUNCTURE|
|Condition Treated||Number Of Cases||Number of Treatments||Improvement|
|Lumbar Disc Syndrome||734||6-16||653||44||37|
Year after year, acupuncture has continued to grow as a treatment of choice for millions of Americans who have exhausted all medical means for relief from many illnesses and disorders.
It is imperative that you sign an executive order to provide full coverage through Medicare and all other insurances for individuals that require acupuncture treatment.
Dr.Arthur Fan, www.ChineseMedicineDoctor.US