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.