On September 27, 2005, Representatives Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) officially became the 47 th, 48 th and 49 th co-sponsors, respectively, of HR 818, the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2005.By signing on to co-sponsor the legislation, HR 818 now has support from the representatives of 19 states, including 13 co-sponsors from California.
Reps. Brady and Udall are the first co-sponsors of HR 818 in the current congress from Pennsylvania and New Mexico, respectively. Brady, Solis and Udall all co-sponsored the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2003, while Brady and Solis also co-sponsored the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2001. Of the 49 current co-sponsors, 41 are Democrats, seven are Republicans, and one is an independent.
The co-sponsorships of Brady, Solis and Udall currently leaves 19 representatives who co-sponsored HR 1477 (the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2003) in the 108 th Congress but who have yet to sign on to support HR 818. The names of these 19 representatives are published on a Medicare campaign website hosted by the Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA), the address of which can be found at the end of this article. In addition, the health aides of these 19 members have each recently received a "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. Maurice Hinchey, the author of the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act, along with e-mail correspondence from Robert Marcus, a lobbyist for CAOMA.
Acupuncturists and their patients, as well as grassroots advocates, are encouraged to show their support for HR 818 by contacting Mr. Marcus at (276) 492-8098, or via e-mail at . In addition, interested parties are encouraged to visit CAOMA's Medicare campaign page at www.acucouncil.org/medicare.htm, and to lobby their own representatives and encourage them to support HR 818.