Monopolies Tie the Hands of Healthcare
While the World Health Organization estimates that between 65 and 80 percent of the world’s population relies on naturopathic or homeopathic medicine as their primary form of health care, the conventional health care industry in the U.S. appears to be focused on limiting public access to these common forms of care.
The actions of Texas Dietic Association (TDA) serve as one example. There is a large and growing number of well educated practitioners in natural medicine such as CCNs, CNs, ACNs, CNCs, Naturopaths and chiropractors that include nutrition education as a part of their wellness and prevention protocol. Yet in 1999, the TDA lobbied the Texas House and Senate to pass a bill requiring that only a Registered Dietitian could speak of diet or nutrition in their practice. While the bill was vetoed by then Governor Bush, the TDA, now known as the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND), has continued to lobby for passage of this bill in Texas. The national organization, originally known as the American Dietetic Association (AND) and now known as the AAND, has successfully lobbied for the passage of similar bills in 35 states in the U.S. The AAND and its state affiliates act as enforcers of these laws by restricting competing practitioners through law suits and ultimately heavy fines.
For more information on the anti-competitive activities of the AAND, read the article in Forbes Magazine entitled “Is the ADA Intentionally Using State Legislatures to Block Alternative Nutrition Providers”, which clearly exposes the AAND’s intention to monopolize the nutrition industry.
In another case of restricting access to multiple sources of care, the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT), in conjunction with various massage schools, succeeded in convincing the Texas legislature to pass HB 2644 in 2007, which states that any bodywork practitioner who touches a person for a purported health benefit must be licensed. That includes Asian Body Workers, Reiki practitioners, Cranial Sacral therapists, Reflexologists, and any other practice that involves the laying on of hands. Though none of these modalities involve massage, it has become nearly impossible to obtain a new license for anything other than a massage license. Massage schools had a vested economic interest in the passage of such a bill, as it requires all of the practitioners listed above to attend massage school, over and above their respective certification education, in order to obtain a license.
Trade guilds are designed for one thing, to protect their turf and to eliminate the competition. Don’t let these monopolies restrict your right to health information and choice of treatment. Throughout the 2013 legislative session (which begins this month), when we bring to your attention information about legislation that either restricts or expands your freedom of choice, please contact your state legislators and make your voice heard. Together, we can protect our collective right to access the health care treatment we choose.
by Radhia Gleis, PhD, MEd, CCN