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Friday, October 26, 2007

Freedom of Choice Means Inclusion Not Exclusion

I have actively been involved in freedom of choice in health care for many decades. A great amount of my work is education to help people understand the right they have in the health care maelstrom and how to navigate troubled waters for their best interest.

Often there are meddlers, such as state bureaucracies and insurers, employers and legislators, well meaning "others" who may have a hidden agenda or other objectives to obstruct or ultimately prevent inclusion.

By inclusion I refer to those modalities that are considered health promoting but are not accepted as such by those who wish to retain control over the status quo or want you to beleive that licensing serves to protect the public's best interest.

Simply put licensing is a restrictive and limiting paradigm that serves only the bureaucracy and grants a provider the ability to bill an insurer for reimbursement (part of the slippery slope to increased cost of care).

In my work over the years as a nursing professional I have had the opportunity to "integrate" natural care into my work since the 1960s when I had a first job out of college in community mental health.

Many years later, after becoming a naturopath (first) and RN(BSc)/nurse practitioner (second), I had the opportunity to work in King Co. Community Mental Health. In my case load of 120 I enjoyed the support and opportunity to employ natural care approaches with two of my clients. One of those two, the one out of the 120 that was able to get off the drugs and out of the system, was a landmark for mental health care in King County. I suspect little has changed, even with the advent of the supposed natural care approach spearheaded by a colleague from that time.

As my lawyer-colleague writes he is not a fan of licensing, neither am I.

Yes, I do want people to have a right of choice and the freedom to have their choice. This is similar to waht I was able to work on as legislation while living in the hate state of Idaho for about five years. I'd say that this legislation should be a model for all other states in order to protect a citizen's Constitutional right of Free Speech and Freedom of Choice while not limiting those who are schooled in natural care methods to registration or forced licensure to meet some outside definition of approval/sanction.

I don't beleive in the insurance or reimbursement model for similar reasons. Why hand over your right-of-choice to an outsider sitting behind a desk 500 miles or more away with no background in the field determining or disallowing reimbursement.

I can't say as I think this is a good, or wholesome, economic model.
Public support for CAM reimbursement.

(From The Vitamin Lawyer) While I am no fan of licensing laws (˜A license is a limitation") an Iowa health reform poll shows 68% of voters want licensed CAM professionals covered in basic insurance benefits.
"A broad-ranging survey on health reform topics by the Gilmore Research Group found that 68% of voters believe basic health care benefits should include coverage for any licensed health care professionals.

Licensed professionals directly noted in the survey of 601 Iowa voters were "naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and chiropractors." The survey was commissioned by Code Blue Now! - a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit citizen organization formed to build public consensus in health care policy.

The Iowa population was strategically selected to have a maximum influence on
the healthcare reform debate.

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