Senators Seek Coverage For Alternative Therapies, Boston Globe, July 24
"[Senator Tom] Harkin, is the cosponsor of an amendment that says healthcare plans will not be allowed to “discriminate’’ against any healthcare provider who has a license issued by a state."Some bloggers don't think they should:
Senator Tom Harkin Pulls A Fast One: Alternative Medical Practitioners Will Be Part Of The "Healthcare Workforce" Under Health Care Reform, Respectful Insolence at ScienceBlogs
"[Senator Tom Harkin] wants to legitimize quackery by including it in any federal plan under the guise of "preventative care." " ... Be afraid. Be very afraid."There are some great therapies that fall under Alternative Medicine. I think there should be coverage to see a dietitian, especially if you have a metabolic disorder (e.g. diabetes), coverage for exercise classes and gym memberships, coverage for stress management classes.
There are a number of herbal remedies that rise to the level of effectiveness, for example, Saw palmetto for urination difficulties related to enlarged prostate, and St. John's Wort for mild-to-moderate depression. Both of these are science-backed and endorsed by the government's National Institutes of Health (given a Grade of A = "Strong scientific evidence for this use"). It would be advantageous, certainly financially, if provision of information about these and other science-backed therapies were covered.
On the other hand, I'm not fond of homeopathy or reiki.
What do you think? Would you like to see insurance (public or private) provide some coverage for alternative therapies?