While there is a shortage of doctors in Idaho and, for that matter in the United States, our legislators want to make it even more difficult for Idahoans to choose a doctor for yourselves and their family. A new bill in the legislature which has been a recurring bill brought up by representative for District 27, Fred “Dead” Wood, Chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee.
The committee will hold a hearing on Monday morning to vote on the licensing of naturopaths. HB 152 will establish a Naturopathic licensing board which would limit the ability for naturopaths to practice to those who have graduated from accredited naturopathy schools in the United States.
While those who are proponents of this bill say it will allow more naturopaths to be able to prescribe a wider range of drugs, obviously these representatives know little or nothing about naturopaths and how they care for their patients. Naturopathy was created from “natura” (Latin root for birth) and “pathos” (the Greek root for suffering) to suggest “natural healing”. People who go to naturopaths are not looking for a fix me up with synthetic drugs from the world of Big Pharma, although naturopaths who have attended U.S. schools are trained to use synthetic drugs. European trained naturopaths are all about natural medicine and do not typically prescribe synthetic drugs.
If this bill is permitted to pass, it will basically shut down the naturopathy businesses which are run by ND’s who received their education overseas (including many who have graduated from highly respected, first-world medical programs.) This is going to restrict the public’s choice of doctors and will not increase the number of available doctors, but it will reduce the competition for the allopathic medical profession by eliminating the Naturopaths who have studied overseas in favor of the limited number who have graduated from U.S. schools.
The bill would also install a member of the allopathic community of doctors to sit on a naturopathic board or, in other words, a member of the board would be a regular MD who has little or no familiarity with naturopathic medicine.
If the true concern of the Health and Welfare committee was to increase access to doctors by the public, it would be opening the door to alternative medical care professionals such as acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors by providing coverage by the major insurance companies as they do for regular MD’s. This is what we call integrative medicine, when medical professionals use the best methods from the eastern and western medicine to care for patients.
Unfortunately, we believe the goal of this bill is to eliminate competition from the naturopathic community, not to increase our choice or the number of available doctors to serve the public. Idaho is ruled by the Medical Mafia which has given us limited choice not only of doctors but also of medical facilities, or haven’t you noticed that we have St. Luke’s and St. Al’s—neither of which emulate the stature of sainthood.
These are the two non-profit behemoths that have been sucking the public dry with their high costs for the past 10 years. These are the two entities that have been buying up their competition around the Treasure Valley by hiring clinic after clinic, offering them bonuses and special compensation to join with them in fleecing the public.
Now that the People have decided that Medicaid Expansion should be another freebie at the expense of the taxpayer, we are going to see even less access to doctors as another 70 to 120 thousand patients are added to the Medicaid rolls. The sunset bill was killed in committee, which means that at some point, when the U.S. government decides to pay less than the 90% of the Medicaid bills, it will be up to the State of Idaho and its taxpayers to make up the difference. Eventually, if this should happen, we predict it will put the state into serious deficit and possible bankruptcy.
We urge all Idahoans to write, e-mail, or call their representatives to tell them to vote no on this bill. It is not in the best interest of Idahoans, but only in the best interest of the regular MDs and overpriced hospitals. These high-priced entities would like to get rid of those pesky naturopaths who cure patients with natural medicines by getting to the root of the patients’ problems rather than by guessing which expensive drug will leave them with the least side effects.
The public will be the losers if this bill passes, and you will lose many brilliant naturopaths who have served and are still serving Idahoans with best practices of natural healing. If you want to change the world you live in, you have to be a participant and voice your displeasure with the way your representatives vote on these new bills which will limit your rights and your choice of a medical professional to serve you and your family.
We ask you to contact your representatives and tell them to vote “NO” on HB152.
The members of the committee are Fred Wood, Jarom Wagoner, John Vander Woude, Marc Gibbs, Megan Blanksma, Mike Kingsley, Bryan Zollinger, Chad Christensen, John Green, Laurie Lickley, Sue Chew, Ilana Rubel, and Muffy Davis.
The website to find contact information on representatives is legislature.idaho.gov or you can call 208-332-1000 and ask for your representative.