(Excerpt from John Week's Integrator Blog. Read the full article here.)
Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 promises "non-discrimination in health care." The provision was lobbied by the American Chiropractic Association and the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) and championed by U.S. Senators Tom Harkin and Barbara Mikulski, MD. The intention was to honor citizen choice by broadening access to non-MD providers. Of greatest interest to Harkin and the duo lobbying organizations are those classified as licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners.
But what will 2706 actually mean for patient access and coverage of these licensed disciplines? What influence will insurer antagonism have on implementation? How will the short clause be interpreted in emerging regulations, state-by-state actions on essential health benefits decisions, employer interpretations, and judicial considerations? A frank opponent of 2706 is the America Medical Association (A.M.A.), which sees opposition as part of its state-to-state campaign to suppress other disciplines. (See Battle On: MD Specialists Promote Repeal of Non-Discrimination Vs Integrative Practitioners, Others.)
Now the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) has announced that the lobbying organization and it multidisciplinary Partners for Health will coordinate a state-by-state campaign to assist what they call "correct implementation" of 2706. IHPC is retaining the person with most experience as an elected official in manuevering through the minefield of insurer, guild and regulatory resistance to citizen interest in broader choice: former Washington State Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn.