CHFC and SB577 are well-received at October 23 Senate hearing on alternative medicine

An October Success! We are starting to build momentum.

The CHFC made an excellent and well-received presentation of our bill, SB577, during a Senate Hearing on alternative medicine that took place on October 23 in Sacramento. CHFC secretary David Palmer first presented the overall rationale and approach behind SB577. Namely, that as long as a person does not perform a potentially dangerous medical procedure or harm anyone, he or she should not be considered to be practicing medicine without a license. In essence, SB577 will narrow the scope of the Medical Practice Act — which currently covers anything that anyone could possibly do to heal someone — to only those medical practices that are potentially dangerous. David’s presentation was followed by that of board member Amy Lansky, who described her son’s recovery from autism due to homeopathic treatment. Amy made a strong and stirring case for how alternative healing therapies are truly needed in California.

The October 23 hearing was called by Senator Liz Figueroa, chair of the Senate Business and Professions Committee — the committee that regulates medical practice in the state. She initiated the hearing because she has strong interest in complementary and alternative medicine and recognizes that there are currently problems surrounding this issue in California. During the hearing, testimony was given by various groups including: the naturopathic physicians who are seeking a licensing law for their form of practice; groups who are opposed to licensing approaches to alternative medicine; the CHFC; insurance industry representatives; and a few doctors who feel they have been unfairly prosecuted by the medical board because they use alternative methods.

The CHFC’s presentation fell in the middle of the day. Aptly placed, we felt that our simple position and commensense approach was well-received by virtually everyone. In addition to the over 1000 consumers who have demonstrated their support at our web site, we have now picked up explicit endorsements from the Ayurvedic practitioners, the Coalition for Natural Health, the California State Homeopathic Medical Society, the California Naturopathic Association, and the National Health Freedom Coalition.

October 23 was our public debut. Our next big step is having our bill heard by the Senate Business and Professions Committee, probably sometime in January or early February. With support form each of our members, we are optimistic that it will successfully be passed out of the committee!