President Barack Obama expressed his openness to including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in a U.S. healthcare system during an April 29 Town Hall meeting in Arnold, MO.
“We should do what works,” President Obama said. “I think it is pretty well documented through scientific studies that acupuncture, for example, can be very helpful in relieving certain things like migraines and other ailments—or at least as effective as more intrusive interventions.” The response followed a question posed by a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist, who asked the president how alternative medicine would fit into his new healthcare system.
“I think one basic principle that we know is that the more we do on the prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road,” he added after commenting directly on acupuncture. President Obama also stressed the importance of changing the current logic of the healthcare system, which focuses only on reducing costs in the near-term.
“Reimbursement for healthcare provided by CAM practitioners not only would support the health of the public,” said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, MD, “it represents a significant opportunity for products used and prescribed by CAM practitioners and a major step forward in the development of an innovative and wellness-based healthcare system.”