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You may have read Dennis Kucinich's recommended diary about his amendment to the health care bill that would pave the way for states to implement single-payer health care.

This diary is not about that particular amendment, however. Instead, it's about another amendment he mentioned introducing.

The state single payer option was one of five major amendments which I obtained support to get included in HR3200. One amendment brings into standard coverage for the first time complementary and alternative medicine, (integrative medicine). (Emphasis added.)

Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?

Integrated, or complementary medicine, is a general recent term used to describe an approach to healthcare that involves both "traditional" medicine and alternative medicine with the notion that it's a more holistic approach.

Alternative medicine is itself a very broad category, used to describe a multitude of different techniques, from chiropractics and acupuncture to herbal medicine and homeopathy. Some of these fields, such as chiropractics, have gained a certain amount of recognition and acceptance in American culture. Some insurance companies will even cover visits to practitioners.

Other fields have not fared so well, especially when subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny.

[R]esearchers affiliated with the Osher Center at the University of California, San Francisco, completed a study that showed that saw palmetto did not improve benign prostate hyperplasia, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. More than 2 million men in the U.S. take saw palmetto as an alternative to drugs. The results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

So what? That's a relatively benign problem, and there's something to be said for the placebo effect, right?

I guess that depends on whether we want to use public funds to pay for placebos. If the treatments which are going to receive public funding do not have to be scientifically tested, does that not open the system up to corruption and quackery?

The way I see it is this: we refer to scientific studies frequently around here. This is how we've established the existence of climate change, that abstinence-only education doesn't work, and that the world is more than 6000 years old.

Ignoring scientific rigor in this case is counter-productive. Even if it received only a small amount of public funds, money spent on some unconventional and unknown technique could become a new talking point about the big bad government's public health care incurring wasteful costs. Additionally, I'd like for us to stay consistent. When we don't have facts or evidence on our side anymore, what do we have?

I'm not advocating that these techniques be ended or anything, just that they're subjected to considerable scrutiny before funding them with any taxpayer dollars.

Originally posted to gsadamb on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I predict.. (6+ / 0-) may catch some flack for this diary.  I hope not.

      I'm with you 100% on this issue, though.  If our tax dollars are going to fund it, we better have some proof that it works.  I do not want to contribute a single penny toward homeopathy or other bullshit.

      •  as a homeopath, I don't disagree if (10+ / 0-)

        that means we don't fund ANY procedures, drugs and surgery which haven't been proven effective whether conventional or not.

        An RN on Kucinich's thread mentioned all of the expensive and largely ineffective surgeries that she has seen. Conventional drugs can be approved when they have been shown to be effective in only a small percentage of cases. Even then, Pharma companies are able to bias the outcome of their tests.

        I doubt if we have to political will to actually deny all unproven procedures. In practice "evidence-based medicine" may really mean conventional medicine continues as usual and most alternative therapies don't get covered. As I mentioned on the other thread, homeopathy can be a low cost method of providing relief for a wide range of conditions for those who want it.

        Even so, the most important thing is that true health care reform with a robust public option actually passes. We don't want to distract people from that by too much emphasis on alternative care.

        I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. Adlai Stevenson

        by USHomeopath on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:45:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  chiropractic treatment... (0+ / 0-)

          I get it in my basic (GHI) policy, but not homeopathic substances. Im somewhat surprised it isnt in the bill.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:52:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I can attest to the success of massage (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emmasnacker, ladybug53, blueocean

          therapy for relieving what were probably torn rotator cuffs, based on comparing symptoms with a friend who was diagnosed with same, and was scheduled for surgery.

          Not having health insurance I decided to try therapeutic massage. After 4 months of weekly treatment I regained full range of motion with both shoulders. I doubt this would be covered by insurance, nor would it be scientifically studied. Can't beat the noninvasiveness and the price: barely  I I/2 months worth of premiums on the individual market.

        •  We should refuse to pay (0+ / 0-)

          for any and all off label drug use.

          And I don't want my tax dollars used to pay for sex therapy.

          I'm not getting any and I don't see why I should have to pay for other peoples sex problems.


          This is the most important legislation of my lifetime and I'll be goddamed if some corporate shills will stick their blood soaked knives into it. - nyceve

          by blueocean on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:27:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ouch, (0+ / 0-)

            That would be horrible for mental health under public option/single payer. There's a lot of really effective drugs that get prescribed off label for things like bi-polar. Same for things like migraines and constant headaches.

        •  Homeopathy will provide relief... (0+ / 0-)

 the same cases as any other form of placebo would provide relief.

          Obviously "Alternative Medicine" is a very blurry and indistinct category.   That's why my criteria was some proof that it works.  It is factually established (and obvious) that homeopathy's only function is as a placebo.

    •  I agree in theory (1+ / 0-)

      but what about the fact that many of these alternative treatments can't be tested using the scientific method?  I haven't really given a great deal of thought about this, but how would one test the effectiveness of yoga/massage/etc.  The supplements are easy to test because its easy to create a placebo (sugar pill), but how do you create a control for yoga?

      Would you then permanently exclude things like yoga/massage/etc. that certainly seem to anecdotally be useful, but probably can't be definitely proved to be efficacious?

    •  Very well said (0+ / 0-)

      Amen. But what Rep. Kucinich is playing both sides of the fence. He, after all, has accepted $654,000 from the health care industry over the past eight years.

    •  No, I don't see a problem with it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I doubt this would mean that any off-the-wall treatment someone comes up with is automatically going to be covered. But when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half years ago, her doctor referred her to nutrition and herbal practitioners and I think she was doing acupuncture too. Of course she lives in San Francisco where things are more enlightened.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:00:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used to be opposed to that (5+ / 0-)

    but then I realized those folks will drop dead and save us money.  So I think the net works ;)  </snark>

    Thanks for pointing that out.  That is disturbing.  

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:10:20 PM PDT

  •  Medical marijuana? (8+ / 0-)

    Sometimes the science is not in yet because our regulatory sytsem keeps the studies from being done.

    Practicing Law without a License is my 3d favorite Crime.

    by ben masel on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:12:36 PM PDT

  •  I thought his ammendment was to have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tegrat, lizard people

    the health provider/insurer/government cover those costs if a patient chose to use them.  No?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:13:19 PM PDT

    •  yes (7+ / 0-)

      but I agree with the diarist here.

      Coverage for treatments that are not shown to be effective via the scientific method should not be mandated.

      by InsultComicDog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:41:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is the amendment to mandate the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:47:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  mandate is for coverage (0+ / 0-)

          for the treatments if the patient desires them.

          But what should/shouldn't be mandated? If someone wants a faith healer or a voodoo priest, do we mandate coverage for that? I think I want to know where the line is.

          by InsultComicDog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:55:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's to mandate insurance payment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Which is an issue likely to derail the whole reform package.

          "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

          by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:55:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That'd be almost as bad as mandating (0+ / 0-)

            coverage for abortions.  That's something that will unite the religious folks against this even if they'd benefit in all other ways.

            The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

            by nupstateny on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:40:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is, who determines effectiveness? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Certainly our elected officials are not in a position to do so, so they should leave the path open for those more capable to make those determinations.  The amendment permits this.

        If an overseeing body then becomes the course to take to decide which treatments are legitimate and which aren't, that body can be established.  If that body is not established, it's still possible for scientists and doctors to weigh in in the media to discredit those treatments that fail to produce useful results.

        •  I think a overseeing body would be a good idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          not just for nontraditional medicine but for traditional medicine as well. I'm tired of insurance companies getting to decide what is "experimental" when something has been proven for 20 years.

          by InsultComicDog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:56:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i don't understand why people view this as a (0+ / 0-)

          serious barrier to coverage of alternative medicines. it is something that ALL health plans must address, in deciding which therapies they will cover.

          one of the common bitches we hear about Canada's healthcare system concerns the difficult of getting coronary bypass operations. one reason, as i understand it, that it is difficult to get them is that some of the provinces have concluded that in most situations, they aren't a very effective therapy, particularly given the cost -- not just the cost for the medical care, but the cost to the patient of having his chest cracked open and his heart messed with. looking at the studies, those dolgurned guvmint bureaucrats concluded something that the doctors themselves would have a hard time observing: that coronary bypass in general doesn't lead to better outcomes.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:07:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't necessarily disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but what many people don't know is that many, many conventional therapies haven't been tested by the scientific method either.  They were either grandfathered in, or pursued by enthusiastic doctors with a narrow definition of success that didn't measure patient outcomes or use control groups.

        When the evidence is collected, often years or decades after something's been in use, they have often found that surgery X is not actually more helpful than drug Y, lifestyle change Z, or doing nothing.

  •  Cringed a little when I read that line in DK's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog, tegrat, Stroszek

    diary.  I doubt it will pass - and it shouldn't.  

    They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred.

    by bdtlaw on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:15:46 PM PDT

  •  It depends somewhat on the language used (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog, jabu, tegrat

    But I wholeheartedly agree than any departure from evidence-based medicine is to be avoided.

  •  my sister died in april of ovarian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, ladybug53, blueocean

    cancer. She had traditional treatment but was diagnosed too late (stage four). No tests exist for ovarian which is why its fatality rate is very high. She had three surgeries 4 or 5 rounds of chemo. She also had reiki massage, accupunture. They helped with the pain of chemo. I believe that these alternatives eased her final year.

    I agree that the alternative medicine could be quakery but in some cases it alleviates pain. So I would have to understand the definition of alternative and where could it be substituted for conventional care or used as a supplemental.

    I do not understand about the single payer in the states. Does this mean that the insurance companies can whipsaw the public because of different rules in each state? Who would set the standards?

    •  Single payer in the states (0+ / 0-)

      If a state created a single payer system the insurance companies would have no role whatever in that state - that's what single payer means, one entity handling all payments.

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:49:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and recced (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, jabu, Mercuriousss, gsadamb

    I absolutely agree. I noticed that in Kucinich's post as well.   If we want to move towards affordable and effective health care for all, then we cannot throw away money on treatments that aren't proven to be safe and effective.

    And this goes for treatments that may possibly have a sound scientific basis as well, not just ridiculous ones like homeopathy. Of course there will always be new experimental treatments, just as there always have been.  But iff you think that health care for all means that everybody will be able to be treated at no expense to themselves  in any way they want, with limitless access to any unproven technique or treatment whatsoever, you're living in fantasy land.  Better face up to it now.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:26:23 PM PDT

  •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, InsultComicDog, jabu, gsadamb

    The devil is in the details I think.

    Complementary and Alternative Medicine is amazingly broad and virtually anything remotely related to "health" products could be included. As you mentioned, chiropractics and acupuncture, which appear to have some scientific validity in certain conditions should certainly be considered for coverage. But also, for what conditions? Chiropractic care for your kidney disorder...mmm, no. Chiropractic care for your low back pain...mmm, okay.

    "There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer. " Gertrude Stein

    by bsmoothmd on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:26:34 PM PDT

    •  My chiropractor (7+ / 0-)

      is a wonderful young doctor that never fails to make me feel better leaving than I did arriving.

      My insurance company is willing to pay for 20 visits a year, or almost twice a month.

      I get significant relief from knee pain using chiropractic care, not to mention the muscle between my shoulders that I injured benching too much weight in high school 30 years ago.

      I'm just  saying you can't confine chiropractic care to back pain - it works for me, and although I  have to complain about back pain to satisfy the insurance company, I'm really there for my knees, and she works wonders.

      Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. Thomas Jefferson 6/11/1807

      by Patriot4peace on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:40:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My mother swears (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, Patriot4peace, jabu, blueocean

        that a chiropractor cured her tinnitus (ringing in her ear) that was chronic. And that after two treatments it never came back.

        by InsultComicDog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:45:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It cured my acid reflux. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I first got it after a fall from a horse. I only mentioned it in passing to my chiropractor. His question was about timing of onset, when I told him, he pressed a spot in the middle of my back, which was terribly sore to his touch, although I felt no pain in that spot in general.
          He adjusted me, and no acid reflux.

          Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone who takes the little purple pill. Or the next generation that was developed to deal with the result of untreated cause of acid reflux. It'll cut into Pharma's profit!

    •  You seem to have no understanding of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      why one might have back pain. If the spine is misaligned, bone pressing on disc where the nerves and blood vessels that serve kidney function are located, do ya think that the back pain might indicate the need to restore nerve impulse and blood flow that would allow the kidney to do it's job?

      •  So study it. (0+ / 0-)

        Compare chiropractic modalities to western modalities and see which works best.

        I think the idea of funding treatments that  are evidence based was the intent of the diarist, one which i agree.

        "There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer. " Gertrude Stein

        by bsmoothmd on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:08:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  all medicine should have sound science behind it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and that includes "alternative" medicine.  It also includes some of the drugs being churned out by the drug companies that have barely more effect than a placebo (and that's just reporting the tests that show any effectiveness at all).  Dennis is right a lot of the time, sometimes he's off in left field, we should try not to let that color our view of him when he is right, hard as that may be...

  •  I'm an Acupuncturist (6+ / 0-)

    who has been very successfully in practice for 19 years.

    I have never joined an HMO or billed an insurance company.  I want absolutely nothing to do with them. I don't want them telling me what I can and can't treat.

    I keep my prices affordable, and it's a cash-only practice.

    People vote with their wallets, and I make a very good living helping people.  They come back because they get results. There are people who have been coming back for years and years.  For many of them I'm their primary care physician.  As a responsible health care practitioner I know when to refer people to allopathic medicine.  Many doctors in town also refer their patients to me.

    There's a reason acupuncture has been around in one form or another since the stone age. Do some research on acupuncture studies (you might begin with the National Institute for Health) before you lump it in with "non-scientific" methods.

    Remember: That which does not kill you only makes your insurance premiums go higher.

    by smileycreek on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:50:46 PM PDT

    •  But should insurance be forced to pay you? (0+ / 0-)

      If you wanted to take on third party paying patients?

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:58:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  acupuncture is covered in SB810 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Losty

      the California Universal Healthcare Act (single-payer).

    •  Thak you for what you do. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emmasnacker, ladybug53, Losty, smileycreek

      I'm certain your patients would be lost without you.  I've never experienced acupuncture but once encouraged another person to try it.

      He was terribly skeptical and quite worried about the pain from the needles.  

      He was suffering from a severe headache.  He was unable to get any pain relief for 2 weeks and was eating over the counter pain pills like they were candy.  I was worried about the damage he might do to his liver.  

      I will never forget his amazement as we left the office.  He saw a bright blue light when a needle was placed near his eyebrow.  He experienced a bit of pain at that point and then he watched the light grow brighter, change shape and then fade away.  We never did get an explanation for the light but he was very happy to finally be rid of the horrible headache.

      He was quite interested in returning for possible treatment of chronic back pain.  He'd had 13 surgeries seeking to control the pain and all were ultimately unsuccessful.  It only took one appointment to end his fear of acupuncture.

      This is the most important legislation of my lifetime and I'll be goddamed if some corporate shills will stick their blood soaked knives into it. - nyceve

      by blueocean on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:14:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bless you. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, blueocean, Losty, smileycreek

      I have never been accupunctured, but have seen amazing results in my dog and in a couple of horses!

      •  Kinda blows away the "placebo effect" doesn't it! (5+ / 0-)

        Works on anesthetized animals, too (just in case someone thinks the animal is responding just to make their human happy).

        Remember: That which does not kill you only makes your insurance premiums go higher.

        by smileycreek on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  at least 3 dog-acupuncturists in Seattle (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53, smileycreek

          (that I know of)

          I wrote the following about my sister's dog's experience with acupuncture a few years back on my blog:

          Hassle demonstrated that the claimed benefits and healing powers of acupuncture are for real.  She suffered from an autoimmune disease that clouded her eyes and, more seriously, devastated her hips and pelvic girdle.  It wasn’t dysplasia, but probably something even worse.  The condidtion was diagnosed quite some number of years ago, and her condition had deteriorated so seriously at that time—great difficulty walking, pain—that my sister contemplated having her put down half a lifetime ago.

          Somehow, though, Hassle got connected with a veterinary acupuncturist, of which (amazingly) there are several in Seattle.  And he did wonders for her!  Not a cure, but he helped provide wonderful quality of life for Hassle for many years beyond what might have been.  Observing her response to her treatments, I understood that acupuncture isn’t just "laying-on of hands" for suggestible subjects, that it truly can produce tangible health benefits.  Though, like any self-respecting dog, Hassle dreaded trips to the vet, she made an exception for her acupuncturist ... she relished those visits.

          Though she no longer raced through the park as she once had, she enjoyed many a long walk, many an exploration of glades and paths.  Over the years, her walks became slower and shorter (though I must note that we had a particularly lengthy and frolicksome sojourn in Discovery Park while my sister was at the DNC this summer), but she was always eager to get out and about in the neighborhood.

          grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

          by N in Seattle on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:58:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This could work, IF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, tegrat

    The alternative treatment were "prescribed" by a medical doctor. There are many who do recommend massage, acupuncture, even herbal treatments of various sorts; and people often have problems getting insurance to cover (not to mention, the great medical marijuana debate!)

    "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:52:38 PM PDT

    •  In California, Acupuncturists are licensed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, ladybug53, Losty

      as Primary Care Physicians, meaning on the same par as M.D.'s.  Therefore, no referral from an M.D. is required for Blue Cross to cover us.

      Please take a moment to look into Traditional Chinese Medicine, a system of health care thousands of years old.

      Remember: That which does not kill you only makes your insurance premiums go higher.

      by smileycreek on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:08:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you seen the amendment? (0+ / 0-)

    Surely it's more specific.

  •  While at my chiropractor yesterday, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, blueocean

    I was talking with another client about the nutrition center that our Dr. has recently become associated with, and I said I hoped that whatever new health insurance plan we got included option for nutritional study and treatment for us.
    So no, I don't see a problem with this.

    And having avoided gall bladder surgery with herbal treatment 3 years ago, no, I don't have a problem with this.

  •  You can't judge any study until you know who paid (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emmasnacker, ladybug53, Losty, USHomeopath

    for it. That should be the very 1st item in any study. Also, you need to know if the funders have any stake in existing or newly-patented "treatments" and medicines.

    You can ask my niece, well-recovered (thanks to an alternative doctor who takes no payment from her) from very advanced Lymes (4 years without treatment because "Lymes doesn't exist in the PNW"). She was condemned to remain bedridden and delirious by the medical establishment, who seemed to have no interest in treating her at all, except superficially.

    You could have asked my friend who cured herself of cancer with some strange mixture of herbs and prayer and lived 20 years past the 3 months she was told she had left.

    You can ask my godson, subject to frequent epileptic episodes his whole life until his mother got him on homeopathic medicine (and jeepers! homeopathic strikes me as really unlikely), who has had only one in the last 8 years: the time he didn't take his medicine while in Indonesia.

    I won't tell you about the shaman and his doctor's amazement over his disappeared brain tumor when he was a little boy.

    I do know "established" medicine most likely hastened my mother's death (Vioxx), definitely killed my friend's mother, and I've never seen a report that says less than 100,000 get killed in our hospitals every year, and the same number or more by FDA approved shit and poison posing as medicine.

    My suspicions of conventional healthcare were triggered when we took my infant son to our doctor with a high fever and all sorts of troubles. The doctor--the "top" pediatrician in our county--reached into her desk, pulled out a bottle and said "Try this, it's new. They just sent me some free samples."

    There's my mysterious, and weeks-long lung condition--painful and limiting--of which all the regular doctors (4, including at Sloan Kettering) said "gosh, it's real but we don't know why our fixes don't work." And which a week of a nasty-tasting Chinese herbal drinks cured.

    All of which is to say, better to leave the treatment decisions in the hands of the person concerned, and put no impediments in their way.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:25:02 PM PDT

  •  For those interested in evidence-based stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle

    this is freakin' hilarious, hat tip to PZ Myers:

    Burned out on the bickering among the pro-science forces?

    ...A New Age magazine in Minnesota is under new management, and the editor wants to exercise some "quality control": astrology, fairies, life-force energy, and spiritual quests are OK. Channeling and paganism are out. This has annoyed the so-open-minded-their-brains-have-fallen-out crowd....

    It is about this article by the editor of New Age Magazine which is struggling with which woo to permit.

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:41:23 PM PDT

  •  Herbal vs synthesized (0+ / 0-)

    Production costs for plant medecines, whether in herbal form or extracts, are amost always much cheaper, Synthetic opiods cost more than strret prices for comparable doses of heroin, and, I've read, 8 times more than whholesale for licit morphine.

    Practicing Law without a License is my 3d favorite Crime.

    by ben masel on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:46:29 PM PDT

  •  In the UK, the National Health Service (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mem from somerville, ladybug53, Losty

    pays for placebos.

    I was sick with something one time there, and I went to the doctor, and he gave me a prescription.

    When I got home, I called my friend who was a pharmacist to get the skinny on what he had given me.

    She laughed and told me it was a placebo.  Sugar pills.  They cost almost next to nothing.

    She said doctors often prescribed them when they felt the patient would get better on their own over time, but would be comforted by getting medicine.

    I think I had a cold, so it only made sense.

  •  I am not a fan of alternative medicine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Sykes

    There is something implicit in alternative medicine that makes it seem like it's the patient's fault. I can't stand that.

  •  I called Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

    His secretary seemed peeved that I wanted the amendment out of there, but you can't please everyone. :)

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