Dear Members and Colleagues:
In some ways, it’s 1965 all over again. It was then that health care gained enormous national attention with the establishment of Medicare as an amendment to the Social Security program. Today, 48 years later, the subject of healthcare reform is again the nation’s focal point.
As you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Act (PPAA) includes a number of provisions that prohibit discrimination against healthcare providers and address the integration of state-licensed complementary and alternative professionals and their related therapies across the healthcare system. This law contains provisions that can ensure patient access to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, but much of this depends on how state and federal regulators interpret these provisions of the law.
Translation: The next 17 months represent a crucial period of time for all practitioners to ensure that their patients are empowered to communicate their needs to congress in one united voice. To serve the millions of patients in need of our services, we must submit legislation that mandates access to the federal healthcare system. Health care is evolving with or without us; it is essential that acupuncture and Oriental medicine be included as part of these changes.
Five Branches University is the first major donor to the Acupuncture Action Fund, and with this generous help, the AAAOM has initiated the drafting of five bills targeting federal systems that cover more than sixty million beneficiaries. Given the many provisions that have been included in the PPAA, we believe now is the time to introduce and support the passage of these bills.
We are fortunate to have sponsors who are interested in taking on this initiative, but they need our community to unite and push forward with one voice. For this reason it is essential to receive your feedback on these important initiatives. We have provided two opportunities for you to share your comments with us on these bills-
We are initiating the first comment period today with the release of this email. Below, you will see a link to the draft bill language for the Defense Health, Veterans Administration, Medicare, Federal Employee Health Benefits, and the Public Health Service Corps. Additionally, we have provided a link to a comment form that allows you to provide general and specific technical comments by bill name and line number.
This comment period will be open for three weeks and conclude onAugust 31st, 2013. The second opportunity to comment during our Legislative Town Hall will be on October 2nd, 2013, after our quarterly update webinar.
This is an exceptional opportunity for all of us to be a part of history and further define our healthcare system. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to ensure our nation has access to AOM when and where they need us!
Michael Jabbour, MS, LAc
President, AAAOM Board of Directors