October 17, 2006

AT Endorses Steve Poizner for Calif. Insurance Commissioner

By Editorial Staff

It is a rarity for this publication to endorse a candidate for political office. There is, however, the rare individual who would be such a progressive force for the acupuncture profession that an exception is warranted.

Steve Poizner is just such an exception.

He is not a typical political candidate. He has never previously held political office, but has served his community in various capacities. He was a government teacher in a low-income school and served with the National Security Council during the events surrounding the 9/11 tragedy. His company also created the 9-1-1 chip, which allows emergency services to pinpoint the location from which a cell phone call is transmitted.

Poizner wants to bring these skills to the Office of the California Insurance Commissioner. Many think of the insurance commissioner's post as sleepy, backwater, even boring, and of little consequence. This could not be more wrong, particularly for acupuncture doctors. Twelve percent of California's economy is in insurance and over 70 percent of acupuncture reimbursements come from this source.

For many years, California Insurance Commissioner's Bulletin 69-6 has been the law. It requires an insurance company, if it chooses to reimburse a medical doctor or physical therapist for performing a particular treatment modality, to give the same compensation to an acupuncturist for performing the same service. This law has not been enforced for years.

According to Poizner:

"During a period in my life, I spent a lot of time weight lifting and studying karate. As a result of that, and other dings and dents in life, I incurred the same problems with back pain that most people experience. I went to my chiropractic doctor and massage therapist for relief. Consumers should be allowed to choose acupuncture as well. That is why I believe that Insurance Commissioner's Bulletin 69-6 should be enforced. It is the law and it will allow consumers to make choices and will increase competition in the healthcare marketplace."

As a patient who recognizes the value of acupuncture, Steve Poizner will bring real-life experience to these and other issues important to the profession. He also intends to confront insurance companies who engage in "use it and lose it" policies, whereby if someone makes a legitimate claim, their insurance is not renewed. As he states, "This is also against the law and it's time that practice ended."

Poizner's opponent, Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, is not a friend of the acupuncture profession. Bustamante has been in the pockets of the special interests for years and, during the insurance commissioner's race, accepted over $150,000 directly from insurance companies. As Poizner points out, "This is wrong, I have not taken any money from insurance companies and will not do so. It is a natural conflict of interest when you wish to serve as California's Insurance Commissioner."

The choice seems obvious: Steve Poizner should be the next California Insurance Commissioner. If you agree, copy this article and give it to your patients. For more information on Steve Poizner, visit www.joinsteve.com.


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