The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), also called Obamacare, is divided into ten titles and contains numerous provisions. If you’re interested in natural, non-drug healing approaches, you may be wondering how the 906 page ACA might affect your ability to have the healthcare of your choice.
Here are a few potential impacts of the ACA that may interest you.
Will more complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) type healthcare modalities be covered by ACA? This could happen if the healthcare providers are licensed professionals. But this doesn’t look very promising. Federal subsidies for state Medicaid programs can only be used for “essential health benefits,” which are defined as medically necessary services. States will not be reimbursed for CAM services, which at best cover licensed chiropractors and acupuncturists and only for a limited number of visits.
The ACA is touted as expanding the reach of innovative, preventive, and treatments that promote healing and health. A review of the law shows, however, that the only wellness and preventive items covered are standard medical screenings and immunizations, and these only if delivered by licensed medical personnel.
Many individuals who seek out CAM practitioners not covered by traditional insurance policies currently chose to have a Health Saving Account (HSA). They use HSA funds to pay for their visits to the healthcare professionals of their choosing. Anyone interested in continuing to have an HSA may be able to do so under ACA, but they will have to pay the annual tax for not retaining the required, federally-mandated insurance coverage.
Issue: Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a danger to Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
There will be much in the media in the upcoming months, and perhaps years. To get you started in your research, we have compiled the following news articles.
PRO Link #1: Summary of New Health Reform Law (passed 3/24/10)
Focus on Health Reform
Overview of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
PRO Link #2: Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine Welcomes the Supreme Court Ruling (7/3/12)
Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine
PRO Link #3: The Obamacare Decision: One Step Closer to a Healthy Nation (6/28/12)
Whole Living Daily
CON Link #1: What the Supreme Court Decision Means for Integrative Medicine (7/3/12)
Alliance for Natural Health USA
CON Link #2 Obamacare and CAM (7/12/12)
Will Obamacare even deal with holistic medicine? (6/29/12)
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