Davis Signs Bill To License Naturopathic Practitioners
Gov. Gray Davis (D) last month signed a bill (SB 907) to license naturopathic practitioners for the first time in California, the Ventura County Star reports (Davis, Ventura County Star, 10/20). The law will allow naturopathic practitioners to diagnose medical conditions, perform minor surgeries, write prescriptions, order laboratory tests and perform deliveries. Licensing by the state also will allow naturopathic practitioners who have completed four years of graduate study at accredited naturopathic colleges and have taken national licensing exams to be distinguished from other naturopathic providers (California Healthline, 6/24). Currently, 13 states register or license the approximately 1,500 naturopathic practitioners in the United States who use a variety of treatments and therapies -- including herbal medications, nutrition, homeopathy, counseling and physical manipulation -- to prevent and treat diseases. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2004 (Ventura County Star, 10/20).
A San Jose Mercury News editorial considers Davis' action on hundreds of bills, including health-related legislation, earlier this month. The editorial supports Davis' signing of the following legislation:
AB 227 and SB 228: Sponsored by Assembly member Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) and Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sun Valley), respectively, the bills "really reform worker's compensation," the editorial states. The editorial recommends that the Legislature in the future "deal with issues it skipped this time, such as additional cost controls and the confusing definition of permanent disability."
- AB 205: The law was sponsored by Assembly member Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) (San Jose Mercury News, 10/15). It will expand health coverage and other benefits to same-sex, registered couples (California Healthline, 9/23).
However, the editorial states that Davis should have vetoed SB 2, sponsored by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco), which will require some companies to provide employees with health insurance or pay into a state fund that will provide such coverage. According to the editorial, Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has pledged to attempt to repeal the law and may sponsor a ballot measure against it. "In the meantime, the Legislature should concentrate on enacting cost controls that will keep down the cost of insurance for employers," the editorial states (San Jose Mercury News, 10/15).
Additional information on SB 2 is available online. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.