The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) establishes the place of alternative medicine in mainstream care. When the insurance mandate takes effect in 2014, every citizen who has health insurance will have access to one or more forms of alternative medicine.
Access will still vary from state to state. The ACA only reimburses services from licensed alternative medicine practitioners. Services from licensed chiropractors are available in all 50 states. Approximately 39 states license acupuncturists. Others require certification. Some states license naturopaths, some don’t, and some won’t allow them to practice at all. And each state has it’s own laws to govern alternative medicine services provided by MDs.
But access will increase with consumer demand. Research shows that 40% of adults in the U.S. use some form of alternative medicine. Medical schools are responding to the demand by adding courses and conducting research in a variety of disciplines. Harvard, Yale, and other top medical schools are amoung the 51 members in the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine.
With new support from the Supreme Court’s backing of the ACA, enthusiastic patients and providers will continue to open doors for alternative medicine from coast to coast.
© 2012, Jacqueline Laurette Jones. All rights reserved.