March 23, 2010
H.R.3590 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - How it Benefits the AOM Profession
Today President Obama signs the most significant health insurance reform bill this country has seen in decades, expanding coverage to millions of Americans and putting an end to the worst practices of insurance companies.
As a profession, the first question we must ask is: “What does this bill bring to the AOM community?” states AAAOM President Deborah Lincoln. “Beyond our efforts to gain support for HR 646 over the past twelve months, the cornerstone of many meetings with congressional members have centered on sustaining the non-discrimination language present in this just-passed bill. AAAOM’s efforts, alongside those of other CAM professions (including that of the Integrated Health Policy Commission [IHPC]) have prevailed, and the non-discrimination clause was sustained.”
William R. Reddy, now representing the AAAOM on the IHPC Board of Directors reflects here on this historic moment: "The critical language to ensure parity and include licensed healthcare professionals in H.R. 3590's passage was the result of key leaders and dedicated CAM professionals forming coalitions for greater strength and support in communicating with our legislators."
The non-discrimination language states: SEC.2706. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE: (a) PROVIDERS. A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider's license or certification under applicable State law. A link to the comprehensive bill text for H.R.3590 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is provided for review. Additional useful links about H.R.3560 can be found at: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3590/show.
“Two other key platforms of leadership activity have been served by this political outcome,” states Rebekah Christensen, AAAOM’s executive director. “And this strongly fortifies achieving the vision of the National Joint Strategic Planning Committee: ‘By 2014, acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM), an independent, licensed profession, will be fully accessible to the public through American healthcare.’" She further adds, “The synergy of this effort combined with AAAOM’s co-sponsorship of the 2011 World Conference on AOM and Integrative Medicine, is extraordinarily fortuitous in that the underlying purpose of this event is to lead the U. S. in defining the role of AOM in integrative care.” Scheduled for May 13-15, the World Conference 2011 is co-sponsored with the University of Maryland School of Medicine - Center for Integrative Medicine.
Jeannie Kang, LAc, and vice president of the AAAOM states: “This is the best outcome we could have anticipated. Politically, the door for the AOM community has now opened wide, setting the stage for our relentless pursuit to assure that AOM is fully recognized in U.S. healthcare delivery.”