Here (according to the Chicago Tribune) is how the Senate plans to spend that $1 trillion its health bill is expected to cost:
Acupuncturists, dietary supplement makers and other alternative health practitioners, some of whose treatments are considered unproven and risky by the medical establishment, would be brought more squarely into the mainstream of American medicine under the health legislation now before the Senate.
The legislation would allow or encourage doctors to incorporate alternative health providers in some treatment plans. It also includes language that some believe could require insurance companies to expand their coverage for alternative therapies, which in some states could include massage therapy, naturopathy or other treatments.
The leading champion of these measures is Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who is better known for his work on behalf of farm and agriculture interests. Harkin, who credits bee pollen pills with curing his seasonal allergies, is the leading recipient in Congress of campaign donations from chiropractors and dietary supplement makers.
The American Medical Association has been largely mute in its response to the Senate provisions. But a coalition of 19 physicians groups claiming to represent 240,000 surgeons and anesthesiologists wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., last week to protest the “nondiscrimination” provision, among other things. They said the nondiscrimination measure “would create patient confusion over greatly differing levels of education, skills and training among health care professionals.”
No kidding! I hesitate to make light of Harkin’s bee-pollinated brain, but, um, is this really how we taxpayers, struggling in an economy with 10 percent unemployment, would really like to spend our healthcare dollars?
Finder’s fee: National Review Online’s Robert Costa.