Some California Legislators Support Efforts To Provide Medicare Coverage for Acupuncture Treatment
Some members of Congress from California are among a growing number of legislators who support efforts to provide Medicare coverage for acupuncture treatment, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. About one-third of the legislators who support the bill, sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), represent California, including districts with large Asian communities.
The cost of providing Medicare coverage for acupuncture remains unclear, but supporters of the proposal say they will ask for a government review of the expenses this year.
Brian Fennen, director of the Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations in Calistoga, said that California has offered limited coverage of acupuncture under Medi-Cal since 1979, adding, "We have very strong Asian-American communities that utilize acupuncture, and we're a progressive state."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said, "It's a low-tech medical treatment. I think there's a very significant possibility that it will reduce costs rather than increase them."
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) added, "Why would you continue to pay doctor bill after doctor bill when this kind of thing works? If we're going to have a program, we should have the most cost-effective program."
Reps. Howard Berman (D- Calif.), Chris Cox (R- Calif.), Rep. Gary Miller (R- Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D- Calif.), Dana Rohrabacher (R- Calif.), Ed Royce (R- Calif.), Hilda Solis (D- Calif.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) also support the bill, according to the Daily News (Friedman, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/28).