Including NDs in Health Care Reform
Jud Richland, MPH, AANP CEO
What AANP is Doing and What You Can Do
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
by: Jud Richland, MPH, AANP CEO

Section: ED Update

Finally I can start answering the phone again.  It turns out that living in a swing state – Virginia in my case – makes you very popular around election time, so popular in fact that my phone was ringing non-stop and someone was always knocking on my door telling me who I needed to vote for.
Regardless of who you supported in the election, there is little doubt that the results will affect the delivery of health care in our country.  With President Obama’s victory, the possibility that we’ll see a repeal of the health care reform law has disappeared. 
That by no means assures that implementation of the law – called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., the ACA) – will be smooth.  Still, AANP can now begin in earnest to ensure that the provisions most important to NDs are fully implemented.  First and foremost, that means we have to make certain that the non-discrimination provision in the ACA truly enables NDs who want to participate in health insurance are able to do so.
Although the ACA is a federal law, the federal government is giving states wide latitude in how they carry out the law.  AANP’s goal is to ensure the law is implemented in a way that is consistent with its original intent.
based on a variety of studies . . . insurers will likely see their costs go down by including NDs in their networks . . .
Many others, however, will contest us at every turn.  That includes insurance companies.  That’s especially ironic because, based on a variety of studies (which you can view in AANP’s online State Legislative Toolbox), insurers will likely see their costs go down by including NDs in their networks. 
We’ve put together a smart and energetic team that aims to make sure our members benefit from the law in the way it is intended.  The team includes our State and Federal Affairs Committee, experienced staff, a seasoned consultant, and state affiliate organizations that are already laying the groundwork for successful implementation of the law.
Our likelihood of success is directly correlated to the extent that policy makers understand that patients demand the right to visit a naturopathic physician.  You can help make sure that policy makers get the message.  Specifically, you can sign the petition on the White House web site to make sure naturopathic physicians are full participants in the implementation of the ACA.  We need 25,000 signatures by December 7.  We’re more than halfway there, but we only have nine days left to get across the finish line.  To sign the petition, click here.
We need you to spread the word about the importance of signing the petition.  Tell your patients, your family, your Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and everyone else you know.  Make sure to act now!
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