Cui Bono Quack Quack

This nice little essay by Kevin Williamson at National Review addresses Obamacare payments for quackery.

Did you know Obamacare pays for naturopathy, chiropractic, and acupuncture, so what about aromatherapy?

Cui bono (good for whom?) is the Latin phrase that got the essay below going. Cui Bono is a phrase that often applies to government favors. In this case Mr. Williamson does the pun to describe how Obamacare creates a group of “providers” in the law that would be considered scientific fringe players except they get payed for their services by the taxpayers.

Mr. Williamson does a pun, flipping Cui to Qi because Qi is the key (pun by me) to acupuncture and chiropractic theory, mysterious forms of energy. Yada Yada. Goofy Senator Harkin from Iowa, the home of chiropractic and its founder D. D. Palmer has made the way clear for any “recognized” healthcare practice to get paid by Obamacare, which means, again, science out the window, politics prevails.

We were making fun of aromatherapy payments from the rationing engine of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom recently here at this site:

Looks like Senator Harkin and others in government have you covered in the US of A for whatever your anxious little heart desires. All you need is to be a “patient” of someone subject to government licensing and regulatory activity. For example many states now “regulate naturopathy and acupuncture. All states regulate Chiropractic. I know the “methods” and I know some pathology, physiology and anatomy. Mystical wishful thinking and placebo effect come to mind when comparing alternative methods to allopathic medicine.

Right here at home the snake oil is flowing. Is there a beer and barbeque medical therapy program for aging I can sign up for?

After you consider Mr. Williamson’s essay, which focuses on naturopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture, consider psych and mental health services as another place for the quacks to run free. Remember all the therapy fads, but don’t ignore the diagnostic fads PTSD, BiPolar, ADD?

Did we settle the question of whether Freud was a quack?

How about the Maharishi, was he a provider?

Anticipating the irate responses from those religiously devoted to these alternative methods, the answer I provide in anticipation is PLACEBO EFFECT, as Mr. Williamson documents pretty well. Beyond that, go ahead, do your thing, placebo effect is better than no effect and if I get down and fight with fanatics they will beat me with the club of true believer fanaticism. True believers are surely not candidates for discussion so we’ll call it a day–don’t start piling up the testimonials about pins in ear lobes for addiction.

Chiropractic manipulation is effective in some cases because it fixes musculo-skelatal painful spots and spasm just like massage, but vitalistic energy and innate intelligence? Yeeeow.

There is no secret energy called Qi or anything else that makes acupuncture work. Pressure therapy and electrical stimulation work by interfering with painful nerve output by a process called gating, but Qi and Meridians do not exist.

In any event acupuncture and chiropractic are not theories that work for diseases or medical conditions beyond limited musculo skeletal pain problems.

But why just talk about alternative therapies, how about a big sector of the healthcare field occupied by pseudo scientific practitioners who are doing quite well,thank you–psych/mental health/substance abuse programs.

What could be the economic burden of unproven therapies, for example the fad therapies and even some forms of group therapy. Even if you accept psych therapies that work as the exception, what about programs in substance abuse and rehab? IF personality disorders are the dominant factor in the mentally disabled population, and personality disorders are not really treatable, then what? What about diagnostic fads like PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury when loosely defined, ADD, Aspergers, oppositional defiant, conduct and disruptive disorders, bipolar? Even now the expansion of the concept of addiction to include bad habits and immorality.

Mental health services can be expensive, just like the Quack stuff, and who decides when the patient doesn’t need any more treatment.

Mental health is a black hole for spending and could be a strain on the system, these mental health cases, that start with little kids getting disability for oppositional defiant disorder and other behavior problems. So they get disability with Social Security and medicaid and their life prospects??? Concept of secondary gain ring a bell?

How about a lifetime of being a patient who is labeled Bipolar but is just miserable and maladjusted. I take care of a jail–wanna guess how many inmates are called bipolar which means sometimes they’re happy sometimes they’re sad to a quick draw psychiatrist? A growing population of the disabled? Right now more than 70 million Americans who claim a medical disability, most are mental and many are physical problems aggravated by mental problems. Heeelllooooo?

Ah, there’s plenty of room for concerned “providers” in the new medical care programs of Obamacare.

10 responses to “Cui Bono Quack Quack

  1. Witch doctors, spiritual healing, and sincere wishes for a speedy recovery, will also be covered!

  2. I suppose anything but prayer will be covered.

  3. I’ve been reviewing Obamacare in depth. Chiropractic is the only alternative medicine provided for at this point

  4. If you look deep enough you may find that Get Well Cards are also covered.

  5. The Harkin rule is most definitely a blank check that has been signed. ON top of the one for “traditional” healthcare. About substance abuse treatment, we will definitely wind up paying for people’s every little pill and then for the treatment of dependence on every little pill. That way, its abhorrent yet “fair.”

  6. Friend of John Galt

    Just wait for the lobbyists for “left out” therapies. Next we’ll have aromatherapy and “healing charkas” by “energy therapists.” And, of course, the “cancer treatments” using Laetrile (the apricot pit cure). The problem is that money wasted on these quack therapies diverts funds from actual medical treatment, so then the Obamacare death panels will cut off access to expensive genome-based cancer treatments (that actually work but are expensive). This is exactly what happened with Oregon’s Medical Insurance Pool that was created several years ago to provide coverage for the uninsurable (due to preexisting conditions). Over the years, various pressure groups got their particular treatments added to the coverage …

  7. I went to a chiropractor years ago and he seemed insulted when I did not jump off the table and do a jig while thanking him profusely.

    The only time his manipulations helped was when something was misaligned and I heard/felt it pop back in.

    I now own an inversion system that suspends only my upper torso while resting my weight on my thighs.
    It works almost every time (pop) and I don’t have to pay $40 or drive somewhere first.

  8. Interlineal P.E.Ruser _ P.robable E.rror

    Chiropractors tend to get my back up at times because they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

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