May 16, 2005

SB 233 Update

By Editorial Staff

Acupuncture Today has received the following press release from Acupuncture and Integrated Medicine Specialists (AIMS) regarding Senate Bill 233, a bill that could significantly alter the practice of acupuncture in California.

All licensed acupuncturists are encouraged to contact their legislator and voice their concerns over SB 233 as they see fit.

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Senator Liz Figueroa's (District 10 -- Fremont) SB 233 been sent to the Senate floor without a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. (The Appropriations Committee Chair has determined that it has no fiscal impact.) It is now awaiting a floor vote which will come within the next two weeks and perhaps as early as Wednesday, May 18.

In addition to eliminating the California Acupuncture Board and transfer its responsibilities to a bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs, this bill has been amended in a fashion that might severely limit the ability of acupuncturists to assess, treat, and communicate with patients; it may even curtail the ability to seek insurance reimbursement without a referring diagnosis from another health care provider.

This is a SERIOUS ISSUE that requires CONTINUED ACTION from practitioners and from consumers. WE MUST KEEP THE PRESSURE ON!

If this bill passes and if the most restrictive legal opinion prevails, this bill would severely restrict the ability of Licensed Acupuncturists to practice and would constitute a giant step backwards for the status of the profession.

Get Your Patients to Speak Out Now!

SB 233 may go to a vote on the Senate as early as Wednesday, May 18.

Have you patients fax a message to their Senator and Assemblymember opposing the May 3rd amendment and opposing the elimination of the Acupuncture Board unless it is immediately "sunrisen." The legislature has many options short of eliminating the Board, which should be fully explored before this drastic step is taken.


  • To have maximum impact, rephrase the message in your own words, especially the first paragraph.
  • If you are a Licensed Acupuncturist or a patient in California, mention this.

Due to the importance of this particular issue, AIMS urges you to have each of your patients write a message and fax it to their state senator and assemblymember immediately.

Patients can simply sign their name and address to the sample letter below. You can fax it for them.

Don't know who your patient's legislators are? Click here.

Sample letters may be downloaded from the AIMS website...


Fax, e-mail, and phone contact information for California Legislators can be found at...

If you or your patient cannot fax a letter, messages can be sent via the AIMS Online Advocacy System:

Other Resources

To review the document upon which this bill is based, see the final recommendations of the Joint Committee on Boards, Commission, and Consumer Protection.

For detailed information on SB 233, visit the Official California Legislative Information site. The bill makes reference to two other sections of the Business and Professions Code; these sections can be referenced by visiting the following links:


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