Monday, May 5, 2008

Health Care Industry Lobbying

This entry focuses more on the politics of health care in the US, than on individual actions you can take. I urge you to become politically active to help make the US more friendly to "alternative" medicine. Two major steps that need to be taken are getting naturopathic medicine and midwifery licensed nation-wide. Licensing ensures standards of training and procedure, protecting people from inadequately trained practitioners. To help get these professions licensed nationally please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and The Big Push for Midwives. Both of these groups are fighting the well funded lobbying efforts of the conventional health care industry.

According to a Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, the health care industry is the top spender among lobbying groups in the US, for the second year in a row. Health insurance companies spent $138 million on lobbying in 2007, imagine how much lower costs would be under a single payer system. All the recent horror stories from the pharmaceutical sector (heparin that was not quality tested, drugs approved without full safety testing, etc) makes me think that they should be spending their lobbying money, $227 million, on identifying the safety of their products. I guess pharmaceutical companies find it more economical to get congress to protect them, rather than fully safety testing their products.

The US needs to realize that it should be protecting its citizens, and not big corporations. We protect the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies, while forbidding women to deliver babies in their homes. The health care industry needs to stay focused on life, rather than profit. Life is an unalienable right, not money.

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