Following in the wake of President Obama signing the health care reform bill HR 3590, the American Association of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) released a statement in support of the new legislation. In particular, the inclusive, non-discriminatory language for CAM providers was noted as a positive more for the profession.
The non-discriminatory 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.
According to William R. Reddy, AAAOM representative on the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) Board of Directors reflects here on this historic moment: "The critical language to ensure parity and include licensed health care professionals in HR 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."
AAAOM President Deborah Lincoln agreed, commenting, "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 Healthcare Policy Commission) have prevailed, and the non-discrimination clause was sustained."
Jeannie Kang, LAc, and vice president of the AAAOM, feels that the passage of this legislation will help create more opportunities for the AOM profession. She stated, "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. health care delivery."