AANP Letter Circulates in House of Representatives
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
by: AANP

Section: State and Federal Advocacy

A letter calling on the VA to take steps to employ NDs has begun circulating in the US House of Representatives.  Leading the way is Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), who – like many of his colleagues – is concerned about the dangers of overmedicating veterans, especially with painkilling opioids.  Rep. Pocan is joined by Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) as the letter’s first signators.
The letter urges the VA to assign an employment code so that licensed NDs can be brought into the agency’s healthcare system.  By signing the letter, Representatives will be on record as stating that “We need a new approach to veterans’ pain management.  Our veterans deserve accessibility to all forms of care when making their healthcare decisions, including the services provided by naturopathic physicians.”
Significant support comes from AMVETS, one of the nation’s largest veterans service organizations.  The seeds for the initiative, however, were planted by NDs and students at this spring’s DC FLI, when they swarmed Capitol Hill expressing the need for the VA to bring NDs into its employment mix.  The agency has the ability to assign NDs an existing employment code; Congress’ letter is intended to encourage the VA to take the next steps. 
Stay tuned for more on how you can urge your Representative to sign the letter.  (This development broke at press time.)  AANP will be calling upon its entire membership – and enlisting patients’ support as well. 
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